Thunbergia (Black eyed Susan)


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Black-eyed Susan vine (Thunbergia alata) is a frequent sight in hanging baskets at the garden center. This vine is as easy to care for as it is charming. The flowers have an almost pop-art look to them, with a solid center surrounded by a ring of clear-colored petals. The flowers look daisy-like at a distance, but they are actually tubular. Five overlapping petals surround a brownish-purple center tube, masquerading as a center disk. Look at the flower from the side and you'll see how the center funnels downward. The medium-green leaves are a little coarse and grow opposite one another. They can be either heart-shaped or have a lance-like arrowhead shape. This plant climbs by twining up support structures rather than clinging with tendrils.