Thunbergia alata

Thunbergia alata


Common Names

black-eyed susan (english)
swartoognooi (afrikaans)
isiPhondo (zulu)


Genus Thunbergia
Species alata
SA Plant Number
Basionym Thunbergia alata


Thunbergia alata is a hardy, evergreen, twining climber that has attractive, bright-green, heart-shaped leaves.

Throughout the year, but particularly in summer and autumn, it produces masses of orange, trumpet-shaped flowers with a dark, purple-brown tube. These flowers attract tiny insects to the garden. Both pink and yellow forms of this plant are available.

This useful plant can be used as a groundcover, to cover a fence, climb a trellis, to tumble over a terraced wall or out of a hanging basket.

When in flower this is an exceptionally attractive plant for semi-shade or shady areas. Prune back quite hard once a year. It is fast-growing and requires well-drained soil and only moderate water.

Size: 1 to 4m or as tall as the support


Butterfly Host Plant:

The Eyed Pansy butterfly (Junonia ovithya) larvae feed on Thunbergia alata as one of its host plants.



Versatile climber that makes a great groundcover or hanging basket subject. Effective for climbing over a trellis or screening on a wire fence.


Mpumalanga, KwaZulu Natal

Forest margin


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