Black-Eyed Susan – Thunbergia alata

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Black-Eyed Susan – Thunbergia alata

Common Name: Black-Eyed Susan

Botanical Name: Thunbergia alata, thun-BER-ji-a a-LAY-ta

Decorative Life: Can flower for many weeks in the landscape.

Flower Color: , , , ,


Family Roots:
  • Is a member of the Acanthaceae (acanthus) family with common relatives including Crossandra, Aphelandra, Fittonia and Beloperone (shrimp plant).
  • Native to Tropical Africa.
  • Is a twining perennial, but often grown as an annual.
  • Leaves are to 3 inches, ovate to cordate, margins dentate, and petiole winged.
  • Genus named after Dr. Carl Peter Thunberg (1743-1822), who traveled in Japan and Java, eventually becoming a Professor of Botany at the University of Uppsala. While studying medicine, he became fascinated with the work of Linnaeus and thereafter concentrated on plants.
  • Specific epithet “alata” in reference to its winged petioles.
  • Will easily flower the first year from seed.
  • Most often grown as a frost tender annual but can over winter in warmer areas. If grown as a perennial, spring pruning is generally in order.
Recent Research Findings:

To date, no postharvest literature has been uncovered for this species.