Thunbergia grandiflora (Blue Sky Flower)

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Scientific Name

Thunbergia grandiflora (Roxb. ex Rottl.) Roxb

Common Names

Blue Sky Flower, Bengal Clockvine, Bengal Trumpet, Blue Thunbergia, Blue Trumpetvine, Clockvine, Skyflower, Skyvine

Synonyms

Flemingia grandiflora, Pleuremidis grandiflora, Thunbergia adenophora, Thunbergia chinensis, Thunbergia cordifolia, Thunbergia lacei

Scientific Classification

Family: Acanthaceae
Subfamily: Thunbergioideae
Section: Thunbergia

Flower

Color: Pale blue
Bloom Time: Mid summer to late fall

Description

Thunbergia grandiflora is a vigorous, evergreen vine with thick tuberous roots from which emerge rope-like stems holding up to 5 inches (12.5 cm) long dark green leaves that have a slightly toothed margin. From mid summer to late fall appear the beautiful, up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) wide, pale blue, tubular, flaring flowers that are cup-like with pale yellow to cream blue striped centers.

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zone 8a to 11b: from 10 °F (−12.2 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Plant the Thunbergia seedlings along the base of the support. Space the plants 12 inches (30 cm) apart. Plant the seedlings at the same depth they were growing at previously.

Water Thunbergia deeply once a week, providing approximately 1 inch (2.5 cm) of water during irrigation or enough to keep the top 6 inches (15 cm) of soil evenly moist. The plants require less irrigation during rainy weather, and they may require twice weekly irrigation during times of dry, hot weather.

Guide plant stems to the support once they are long enough if they don’t begin climbing on their own. Thunbergia sends out tendrils that grip the support, so leaning the longer stems against the support forces the vine to begin climbing.

Cover the exposed soil in the garden bed with a 2-inch (5 cm) layer of mulch. Mulch retains soil moisture and suppresses most weeds, but pull any weeds immediately that do manage to breach the mulch.

Origin

Native to China, India, Nepal, Indochina and Burma and widely naturalised elsewhere.

Subspecies, Varieties, Forms, Cultivars and Hybrids

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