Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Black-Eyed Susan Vine
Thunbergia alata 'Spanish Eyes'

Family: Acanthaceae (ah-kanth-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Thunbergia (thun-BER-jee-uh) (Info)
Species: alata (a-LAY-tuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Spanish Eyes

One vendor has this plant for sale.

6 members have or want this plant for trade.

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:
Scarlet (Dark Red)
White/Near White

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:

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

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3 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive CrankySci On Jan 2, 2014, CrankySci from New York City, NY (Zone 6b) wrote:

This plant easily germinated from seed, resulted in rigorous vines that began blooming as soon as they were about 2.5 feet tall. At the time I was living in NJ and grew them in containers.

Beautiful blossoms, no disease or bug problems were observed, and it flourished quickly.

An annual in the Northeast, but I've seen this plant become a bonkers perennial in California.

Neutral Olwin On May 1, 2011, Olwin from Knoxville, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

While this plant was easy to propagate from seed indoors, I was underwhelmed with the lack of blooms it produced in hanging baskets. Too much foliage and not enough flowers.

Neutral jenhillphoto On Feb 3, 2010, jenhillphoto from Danbury, CT (Zone 6a) wrote:

I started mine late outdoors. They took a while to get going and never got to the flowering stage before fall. I will try again in 2010 and start them inside ahead of time as the seed packets says.

Positive CurtisJones On Feb 9, 2008, CurtisJones from Longmont, CO wrote:

A little more information from your friends at Botanical Interests: "Annual. Blooms summer. 5' - 10' trailing vine. Full sun. Vigorous vine with sunset-colored, dark-eyed flowers. Great ground cover, screen, or hanging basket variety! Use in window boxes, as a ground cover, on a trellis, or in hanging baskets. Sow outside after danger of spring frost has passed. "

Positive celtic_dolphin On Aug 16, 2005, celtic_dolphin from Boone, NC (Zone 4b) wrote:

Wonderful little vine! Was slow to start growing, but once it took off, it is spreading like wildfire! I have them growing on a trellis and also in hanging baskets, they seem to prefer climbing to hanging, but still look good in the baskets. The colors in this mix are wonderful, my cousin had never seen a black-eyed susan vine before, but after seeing the first bloom of this variety she gasped and shouted "that's my new favorite flower!". I think it's my new favorite vine, at the least. Not sure how easy it will be to gather seed, will update once I've reached that point.


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

Mobile, Alabama
Elk Grove, California
Richmond, California (2 reports)
San Francisco, California
San Mateo, California
Palm Harbor, Florida
Guyton, Georgia
Benton, Illinois
Barbourville, Kentucky
Flemingsburg, Kentucky
Stillwater, Minnesota
Monroe, New York
New York City, New York
Warrensville, North Carolina
Radford, Virginia
Richmond, Virginia

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