Thunbergia alata Bojer ex Sims

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Thunbergia alata

Picture: Bart Wursten
Leopard Rock Game Reserve, Vumba.

Thunbergia alata

Picture: Bart Wursten
Path to Hadange Gorge, Chimanimani National Park

Thunbergia alata

Picture: Bart Wursten
Near Chalet 3, Chirinda Forest

Thunbergia alata

Picture: Bart Wursten
Close to Inyangombe Falls

Thunbergia alata

Picture: Bart Wursten
Close to Inyangombe Falls

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Thunbergia bikamaensis De Wild.
Thunbergia fuscata Lindau
Thunbergia kamatembica Mildbr.
Thunbergia manganjensis Lindau
Thunbergia nymphaeifolia Lindau
Common names:
Status: Native
Trailing or twining annual or perennial herb with one to several stems, up to 3 m long, sparsely to densely white to yellow hairy, growing from a woody rootstock when perennial. Leaves opposite, triangular-ovate, 2.5-10.5 cm long,usually with hastate to rounded basal lobes, base running down into broad wings on the petiole; margin entire or coarsely toothed. Flowers axillary, solitary or in pairs. Corolla 5-lobed pale yellow to deep orange with a deep purple to almost black throat; lobes broadly emarginate; tube 3-6 mm long, straight or curved.
Type location:
Tanzania, Zanzibar
Derivation of specific name: alata: winged, presumably referring to the prominent wings on the petioles
Habitat: In a wide range of habitats, often in disturbed or secondary places.
Altitude range: Up to 2200 m
Flowering time:Dec - Aug
Worldwide distribution: Widespread in tropical Africa, Madagascar, India and Southeast Asia; introduced in Tropical America.
Zambian distribution (Flora Zambesiaca): B,N,W,C,E
Zambian distribution (Provinces): Cb,Lp,N,E,C,W
Growth form(s): Climber.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species: Junonia orithya madagascariensis (Food plant)
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Bandeira, S., Bolnick, D. & Barbosa, F. (2007). Wild Flowers of Southern Mozambique Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, Maputo, Mozambique Page 189. (Includes a picture).

Baumann, G. (2005). Photographic Guide to Wildflowers of Malawi Wildlife and Environmental Society of Malawi Pages 134 - 135. (Includes a picture).

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 54. (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 55.

Da Silva, M.C., Izidine, S. & Amude, A.B. (2004). A preliminary checklist of the vascular plants of Mozambique. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 30 Sabonet, Pretoria Page 20.

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 15.

Pickering, H. & Roe, E. (2009). Wild Flowers of the Victoria Falls Area Helen Pickering, London Page 19. (Includes a picture).

Plowes, D.C.H. & Drummond, R.B. (1990). Wild Flowers of Zimbabwe. Revised edition. Longman, Zimbabwe. No. 129, plate 170

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 19.

Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A Checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mount Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34 National Botanic Garden of Belgium Page 35.

Vollesen, K. (2013). Acanthaceae (Part 1) Flora Zambesiaca 8(5) Pages 31 - 33. (Includes a picture).

Wursten, B., Timberlake, J. & Darbyshire, I. (2017). The Chimanimani Mountains: an updated checklist. Kirkia 19(1) Page 87.

Other sources of information about Thunbergia alata:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Thunbergia alata
Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Thunbergia alata
Flora of Malawi: Thunbergia alata
Flora of Mozambique: Thunbergia alata
Flora of Zimbabwe: Thunbergia alata
Flora of Zimbabwe: cultivated Thunbergia alata

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Thunbergia alata
African Plant Database: Thunbergia alata
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Thunbergia alata
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Thunbergia alata
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Thunbergia alata
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Thunbergia alata
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Thunbergia alata
JSTOR Plant Science: Thunbergia alata
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Thunbergia alata
Plants of the World Online: Thunbergia alata
Tropicos: Thunbergia alata
Wikipedia: Thunbergia alata

Copyright: Mike Bingham, Annette Willemen, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Mark Hyde, 2011-24

Bingham, M.G., Willemen, A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. and Hyde, M.A. (2024). Flora of Zambia: Species information: Thunbergia alata., retrieved 18 July 2024

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