Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Spending Time With Clockvine
Having written in the past about other members of the thunbergia family, it's time for me to report on the grandest of them all - Thunbergia Grandiflora, often called Bengal Clockvine or just clockvine. The normal color of the flowers is this purplish-blue, but there are white ones available.
They closely resemble Heavenly Blue morning glories, at least to me. The blooms don't really start till the days start to shorten in September.
This flower grows on a lush, tropical vine that is beautiful even without flowers. The vine is from India and is hardy to zone 8. It will die to the ground after a freeze, but reliably comes back for me each year. It's quite fast growing and will cover a fence pretty well in a growing season.
Here's a picture of the vine so you can see just how lush it it. It prefers a sunny area and loamy soil. Mine gets adequate moisture because I have it irrigated. It's a much bigger plant than its sisters in the thunbergia family - Black-eyed Susan vine, King's mantle, and scrambling sky-vine. It's yet another of those unusual plants that many people don't know about and you seldom see. I don't know why this is because clockvines are so easy and do so well in our hot, humid Southeast US. It makes a nice substitute for morning glories if you want a vine that comes back every year and isn't as invasive.