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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Miscellaneous Details

"Notes: Western Ghats & Eastern Ghats, Low to High Altitude, Cultivated / Naturalized, Native of Tropical Africa"
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Description

A creeper producing a succession of flowers over an extended period during the year.
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© Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten and Petra Ballings

Source: Flora of Zimbabwe

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Derivation of specific name

alata: winged, presumably referring to the prominent wings on the petioles
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Source: Flora of Zimbabwe

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Distribution

National Distribution

United States

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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Global Range: Widespread species, originally from Africa, but now grows throughout Central and South America, also in Asia. 0-1000 m elevation.

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Distribution: Throughout Puerto Rico, especially in moist disturbed areas, at lower to upper elevations. Also on St. Croix. Native to eastern Africa, but introduced throughout the tropics.

Public forest: Cambalache, Carite, El Yunque, Guilarte, Maricao, Río Abajo, Toro Negro, and Tortuguero.

  • Stearn, W. T. 1971. A survey of the tropical genera Oplonia and Psilanthele (Acanthaceae). Bull. Br. Mus. Nat. Hist. (Bot.) 4: 261-323.

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"Occasional along the forest edges. Native of Africa, cultivated elsewhere."
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"Maharashtra: Kolhapur, Pune Karnataka: Chikmagalur, Coorg, Hassan, Mysore, N. Kanara, Shimoga Kerala: Alapuzha, Idukki, Kollam, Malapuram, Palakkad, Thiruvananthapuram Tamil Nadu: Dharmapuri, Dindigul, Salem, Theni"
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C-E Nepal: S China, India, Indo-China, Myanmar.
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© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

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Physical Description

Morphology

"
Flower

Solitary or paired; yellow with purple throat. Flowering throughout the year.

Fruit

A depressed-globose capsule, with a long apical peak; seeds 4, globose. Fruiting throughout the year.

Field tips

Leaves 5-nerved from base. Calyx bowl-shaped.

Leaf Arrangement

Opposite-decussate

Leaf Type

Simple

Leaf Shape

Hastate-sagittate

Leaf Apex

Mucronate

Leaf Base

Hastate

Leaf Margin

Entire

"
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Elevation Range

300-1300 m
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Diagnostic Description

Thunbergia alata Bojer ex Sims, Bot. Mag. 52, t. 2591. 1825.

Fig. 14. G-L

Herbaceous vine, creeping or climbing, twining, 2-3 m in length. Stems cylindrical, slender (ca. 2 mm), puberulous. Leaves opposite; blades 4.5-10.5 × 3.2-6 cm, ovate, lobed, chartaceous, the apex acute, the base subcordiform; upper surface dark green, dull, pubescent; lower surface pale green, dull, with prominent venation; petioles 4-8 cm long, winged, pubescent. Flowers axillary, solitary; pedicels pubescent, 4-5 cm long; bracts green, ovate, pubescent, 1.5 cm long, covering the calyx and the corolla tube. Calyx yellowish green, with 12 filiform lobes, ca. 4 mm long; corolla orange, pale yellow, or less frequently whitish, infundibuliform, with 5 lobes, the tube ca. 2.5 cm long, narrow at the base, dark violet inside, the lobes ca. 2.5 cm long with the apex truncate, the limb ca. 5 cm in diameter; stamens with glandular hairs on the basal portion. Capsules ca. 4 mm long, depressed-globose to 4-lobed at the base, the upper half in the form of a beak, dehiscent by two valves; seeds 2 or 4, 1.2-1.5 mm long, semicircular, reticulate.

Phenology: Flowering sporadically throughout the year.

Status: Exotic, very common, naturalized in Puerto Rico.

Selected Specimens Examined: Acevedo-Rdgz., P. 3050; 7002; 7135; Boom, B. 9895; Eggers, B. 760; Fisher, M.J. 21; 22; 23; Goll, G.P. 71; 152; Heller, A.A. 624; 6312; 6392; Liogier, A.H. 30010; Prey, N. 82; Sargent, F.H. 189; Sintenis, P. 158; Stevenson, J.A. 98; 306; 3328; Underwood, L.M. 757.

  • Stearn, W. T. 1971. A survey of the tropical genera Oplonia and Psilanthele (Acanthaceae). Bull. Br. Mus. Nat. Hist. (Bot.) 4: 261-323.

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Diagnostic

"Habit: A scandant climbing shrub, to 9m."
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Diagnostic

Habit: Climber
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Ecology

Associations

Insects whose larvae eat this plant species

Precis orithya madagascariensis (Eyed pansy)
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Population Biology

Frequency

Locally frequent
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Thunbergia alata

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Thunbergia alata

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 1
Specimens with Barcodes: 3
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: GNR - Not Yet Ranked

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Folklore

Indigenous Information: Cultivated for its showy flower.
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Uses

Often cultivated as an ornamental in gardens and homesteads.
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Wikipedia

Thunbergia alata

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.[1]

It is grown as an ornamental plant in gardens and in hanging baskets. The name 'Black-eyed Susan' is thought to have come from a character that figures in many traditional ballads and songs. In the Ballad of Black-eyed Susan by John Gay, Susan goes aboard a ship in-dock to ask the sailors, where her lover Sweet William has gone. Black-eyed Susan is also a name given to another species of flowers - Rudbeckia.

Description[edit]

Flowers and leaves of Thunbergia alata

Thunbergia alata has a vine habit, and can grow to a height of 6–8 ft (1.8-2.4 m) in tropical zones, or much less as a container plant or as an annual. It has twining stems with heart or arrow-shaped leaves. The flowers have five petals and appear throughout the growing season. They typically are warm orange with a characteristic dark spot in the centre, although 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.[2]

Cultivation[edit]

The flower of Thunbergia alata (bract removed)
A young Thunbergia alata being trained to grow on a trellis feeder wire.
The seed of Thunbergia alata. Diameter of the seed is appr. 4 mm.

Thunbergia alata seed is easy to germinate in humus-rich soil with some sand. Soaking the seeds in a dish of warm water over night will help improve seed germination when planted. It is a fast grower, blooming quickly, with light trimming encouraging more blossoms.[2]

Synonyms[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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