Family: Acanthaceae
type : Annuals, Perennials, Shrubs, Vines / Ground Covers
sun exposure : Partial Shade
water : Regular Water
planting zones : TS (Tropical South) / Zone 10, TS (Tropical South) / Zone 11
Plant Details

Tropical, typically twining plants noted for showy flowers. Some grow fast enough to bloom the first season and can be treated as annuals. Those grown as perennials are evergreen in the Tropical South. Provide rich, well- drained soil. Good greenhouse plants.

black-eyed susan vine

thunbergia alata

  • Perennial vine grown as annual.
  • May live over in Zones CS, TS; USDA 9-11.
  • From Africa.
  • To 10 feet., with triangular, 3 inches., medium green leaves.
  • Blooms all summer long; tubular flowers flare out to 1 inches wide, come in orange, yellow, or white, all with purple-black throat.
  • Start seed indoors; set plants out in good soil in a sunny spot as soon as weather warms.
  • Display in hanging basket or window box, use as ground cover, or train on strings or low trellis.

blue clock vine

thunbergia battiscombei

  • Vining shrub.
  • From Africa.
  • Unless given support, it forms a mound 46 feet high, 68 feet wide.
  • Scrambling stems bear broadly oval, glossy, bright green leaves to 7 inches long.
  • Fuzzy greenish white buds appear in leaf joints; from spring into fall, these open to 2- to 3 inches-long, yellow-throated flowers in an intense blue-purple.
  • Top dies back in cold weather, but roots are hardy to 20F.

king's mantle

thunbergia erecta

  • Vining shrub to 6 feet tall and wide.
  • Native to Africa.
  • Erect, sometimes twining, with dark green, ovate to oblong leaves to 3 inches long.
  • Velvety dark blue, 3 inches-long flowers with orange or cream throats resemble those of gloxinia (Sinningia); they appear in joints of upper leaves throughout summer and fall.
  • Alba is a white-flowered form.

sweet clock vine, white lady

thunbergia fragrans

  • Perennial vine.
  • Native to India.
  • Woody, twining stems reach 810 feet high, set with notched, oval green leaves to 3 inches long.
  • Lightly scented summer flowers to 3 inches across appear singly or in clusters; white is the usual color, but blossoms may be blue, lavender, or even yellow.
  • Prune this vine regularly, or it may get away from you.

sky flower

thunbergia grandiflora

  • Perennial vine.
  • From India.
  • Vigorous growth to 20 feet or more, with 8 inches., heart-shaped, medium to dark green leaves.
  • Slightly drooping clusters of tubular, flaring, sky-blue flowers to 3 inches across appear from late summer through fall.
  • Use on arbor, large trellis, or wire fence; casts dense shade.
  • Alba has white flowers.

orange clock vine

thunbergia gregorii

  • Perennial vine; grow as summer annual outside Tropical South.
  • Native to Africa.
  • Showy and easy to grow; twines to 6 feet high or sprawls over ground to cover a 12 feet circle.
  • Gray-green, triangular, tooth-edged leaves to 3 inches long.
  • Tubular, flaring, bright orange, 3 inches flowers are borne singly on 4 inches stems.
  • Blooms nearly all year long in the Tropical South, in summer elsewhere.
  • Set plants 34 feet apart to cover a wire fence, about 6 feet apart as ground cover.
  • Plant above a wall and let stems cascade down; or grow in hanging baskets.

indian clock vine

thunbergia mysorensis

  • Perennial vine.
  • From India.
  • Climbs to 1535 feet., with narrow, elliptical, dark green leaves up to 6 inches long.
  • Spectacular, pendent, 1- to 112 feet-long clusters of gaping, 2 inches-long flowers that are red on the outside, yellow within.
  • Blooms much of the year, most heavily in spring.
  • Train on pergola, arbor, or other overhead structure to permit flowers to dangle.
  • Protect from frost.

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