|Thunbergia alata subsp. var.||Black-eyed Susan vine|
Thunbergia alata, commonly called Black-eyed Susan vine, is a herbaceous perennial climbing plant species in the Acanthaceae family. It is native to Eastern Africa, and has been naturalized in other parts of the world. It is found in Cerrado vegetation of Brazil and Hawaii, along with eastern Australia and the southern USA in the states of Texas and Florida. It is grown as an ornamental plant in gardens and in hanging baskets. Black-eyed Susan is also a name given to another species of flowers - Rudbeckia.
Depending on the conditions,Thunbergia alata grows to a height of 6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m) in tropical zones, but much less as a container plant or as an annual. It has twinning stems with heart or arrow-shaped leaves. It favours sun to partial shade and the flowers, though typically a warm orange can range through red, orange, red-orange and bright yellow with the characteristic chocolate-purple centre which inspires the common name.
Soft five-petal blooms appear in late Spring/early Summer, mid Summer and again in late Summer, early Autumn (Fall). The leaves are heart shaped dicotyledons and the plant is an evergreen perennial.
|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Thunbergia alata, Bojer. Black-eyed Susan. St. square, climbing, hairy: lvs. opposite, triangular-ovate, hastate, repand-toothed, rough-pubescent, tomentose beneath; petioles winged, about as long as the lvs.: fls. solitary, on axillary peduncles; calyx very small, surrounded by 2 large inflated bracts; corolla-tube somewhat longer than the involucre, dark purple within; limb rotate, oblique, of 5 rounded segms., buff or cream- colored. S. E. Afr. —A perennial climber which may also be treated as an annual greenhouse plant. Usually prop. by seeds. It is used either as greenhouse climber or to grow on trellises outdoors. Outside it flowers mostly in Aug., but by prop. at various times plants may be had in blossom nearly the whole year in the greenhouse. There are many varieties, some of which have been described as species.
Var. alba, Paxt. (T. alata var. albiflora, Hook.). Fls. white, with a blackish center. Var. aurantiaca, Kuntze (T. aurantiaca, Paxt.). Fls. bright orange, with a dark center. The best of the group. Subvar. Doddsii has variegated lvs. Var. Bakeri, Hort. (T. Bakeri or Backerii, Hort.). Fls. pure white. Var. Fryeri, Hort. (T. Fryeri, Hort. T. alata var. intus-alba, Hort.). Pale orange, with a white center. Var. sulphurea, Hort. Fls. sulfur-yellow. Var. lutea, Hort. (T. alata var. unicolor, Hort.). Fls. entirely yellow. CH
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The plant is self-propagating but propagation methods for gardeners include herbaceous stem cuttings, and from seed. In the northern hemisphere seed is sown indoors before last frost and direct sowing after the last frost of the season.
To collect seeds, seedheads are allowed to dry on plants before removal and seed collection.
Pests and diseases
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- Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, by L. H. Bailey, MacMillan Co., 1963
- w:Thunbergia alata. Some of the material on this page may be from Wikipedia, under the Creative Commons license.
- Thunbergia alata QR Code (Size 50, 100, 200, 500)
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