Thunbergia: Black-Eyed Beauty
Though here in Manitoba we ogle over the beauty of the Thunbergia vine, in other parts of the world it is just your common weed, just another invasive species that is difficult to eradicate.
Thunbergia was discovered by Carl Thunberg on his journey set by the Dutch to discover new plants. Thunberg was a young student with a passion for botany. On his journey across the world Carl Thunberg stumbled across a gorgeous plant he had not yet set eyes on. Clock vine, Grandiflora, Alata, all different species later to be tied to the name Thunbergia, named after the discoverer. In the corners of South Africa, Thunberg discovered the beauty of a wild vine that could not and would not be contained. In some areas where the flower is local it is simply a headache, a vine that could never be stopped. But in the areas where it cannot withstand the cold we simply get a gorgeously cascading vine filled with vibrant blooms and heart shaped foliage. Thunbergia is often the favourites when it comes to annual vines; aggressively growing making a lovely mound of brightly coloured blooms. Lemon yellow, vibrant orange, deep red and many colours in between; this vine is hard to compete with. Often Thunbergia is best in a basket or on a trellis, giving it space to climb and trail as it so desires. Heat and sun loving, these flowers are great as a centerpiece in sunbeds, on a shepherds hook, or climbing up that really sunny side of your shed. Their tolerance of moisture can make it tricky if your yard is quite soggy or there is heavy rain, however Thunbergia are very quick to bounce back, particularly from drought. All this aside I genuinely believe that they are worth any little bit of work they require. Aggressive in their nature, Thunbergia often can take over its area and beyond, so make sure that when planted you give it lots of its own space, or else it will take over its neighbouring space too.