PlantFiles is getting a new look! Just in time for spring, we're rolling out a new look for the best online plants database. It will also work with your smart phones and mobile devices, so now you can take it with you on garden center visits or botanical garden tours. Questions or comments? Please post them here.

Black-Eyed Susan Vine
Thunbergia alata 'African Sunset'

Family: Acanthaceae (ah-kanth-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Thunbergia (thun-BER-jee-uh) (Info)
Species: alata (a-LAY-tuh) (Info)
Cultivar: African Sunset
Additional cultivar information:(aka Blushing Susie)


Vines and Climbers


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade



Bloom Color:




Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall



Other details:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

This plant is suitable for growing indoors

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From herbaceous stem cuttings

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Mobile, Alabama

Bellflower, California

Citrus Heights, California

Elk Grove, California

Los Angeles, California

San Francisco, California

Deland, Florida

Port Saint Joe, Florida

Tampa, Florida

Lula, Georgia

Divernon, Illinois

Olathe, Kansas

Denville, New Jersey

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Dayton, Ohio

Summerville, South Carolina

Salt Lake City, Utah

Leesburg, Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Dec 26, 2014, jimtomczak from Mobile, AL (Zone 8b) wrote:

Thunbergia alata is one well behaved little vine I can't remember not having a dozen or more snaking throughout the weed patch & another dozen climbing a wooden fence. This year for some reason there was no need to plant a single seed as the Thunbergia alata took over everywhere even the tallest banana,when the Lilly patch finished its display I let the vine have a go (lilly stalks after blooming ,well they are not attractiive) problem solved. today's Christmas day!! Where there is protection there are Thunbergia giving a last push! An attraciive easily controled versatile cloak Or a wicked Hot Mess. 4 stars from me. Mobile Al.


On Sep 25, 2010, poisondartfrog from Barbourville, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

Many shades of salmon, vigorous.
Benefits from a bit of afternoon shade.


On Feb 6, 2006, Xeramtheum from Summerville, SC (Zone 8a) wrote:

This plant is suppose to be an annual in Zone 8, but mine are coming back up for the second year in a row!