Saturday, 27 December 2008

Thunbergia alata

Thunbergia alata Bojer ex Sims
Botanical Magazine 52: pl. 2591. 1825.

Robert Barclay received the seeds in 1825 from the Mauritius, through Mr. Charles Telfair. It is stated to be inhabiting grassy places on the two small islands of Zanzebar and Pemba, on the East coast of Africa (about 5º or 6º South of latitude).
Discovered and named by Messrs. Helsinbourg and Bojer (see Hooker Exotic Flora).

Le Thunbergia alata, dont on a obtenu diverses variètés à fleurs blanches, coleur nankin, jaune soufre avec ou sans oeil noir, est une espèce herbacée fort gracieuse, tès-florifère et dont la culture est devenue tés-repandue, grâce à sa docilité : Journal d'horticulture pratique de la Belgique, 1857

Grown at Monserrate by Walter Oates over the Chapel Pergola. This plant is still often seen in local garden centers. The plant is of little duration in our gardens and is treated as an annual. A similar effect in brighter orange may be obtained with Thunbergia gregorii - a reliable perennial.

I'd love to know how this plant got the name of "Black-eyed Susan", Jane Loudon was already using this "gardeners' name" by 1842.

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