T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Thunbergia alata (Black Eye Susan Vine)

Kingdom: Plantae
(Unranked): Angiosperms
(Unranked): Eudicots
(Unranked): Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Acanthaceae
Genus: Thunbergia
Species: T. alata
Binomial name: Thunbergia alata
Common names:Black Eye Susan Vine

Thunbergia alata, commonly called Black-eyed Susan vine, is an evergreen herbaceous perennial semi-deciduous climbing plant species in the Acanthaceae family. It is native to Eastern Africa, and has been naturalized in other parts of the world.

Thunbergia alata has a vine habit, and can grow to a height of 1.8-2.4 m. It has twinning stems with heart or arrow-shaped leaves. It favours sun to partial shade. Soft five-petal blooms appear in late Spring/early summer, mid summer and again in late summer, early autumn. The flowers typically are warm orange with characteristic dark spot in the centre. However, different varieties can be red, orange, red-orange, white, pale yellow, or bright yellow, with or without the characteristic chocolate-purple centre which inspires the common name. Black-eyed Susans are also known for producing flowers as early as six weeks after germination. The leaves are heart shaped dicotyledons.
The plant is self-propagating.Can be found as an escapee plant growing down banks.