Floridata Plant Encyclopedia

A Floridata Plant Profile 251 Thunbergia grandiflora

Common Names: Bengal clock vine, clock vine, sky flower Family: Acanthaceae (acanthus Family)
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Skyflowers are large and lovely and big and blue and aptly named.


From a distance, this twining, flowering vine looks like a morning glory and even up close the flowers are quite similar. The tubular flowers of the skyflower vine are a little deeper, about 3 in (7.6 cm) long, and are borne in drooping clusters. The most commonly seen varieties are sky blue to light violet although there is a white flowered type as well. Leaves are leathery and have a distinctive elongated heart shape.

The plant grows fast in warm weather, easily covering a trellis or large section of fence in one season. It is one of the most free flowering vines for shade in the South and is underused due to lack of distribution. Growth slows or stops in cool temperatures, and the top is killed to the ground after a freeze. In frost free climates, it is evergreen.


Thunbergia grandiflora is native to India.


Thunbergia favors quite rich, organic soil and requires structural support. It may need to be cut back often to control direction or size or allow it to roam free if you have the space. Light: Sun to shade. In hot summers, prefers afternoon or shifting shade. Moisture: Moderately moist. Hardiness: USDA Zones 8 - 11. Propagation: Very easy to propagate from cuttings in warm weather.


As a floral specimen, use both leaves and blossoms in arrangements. Outdoors as a perennial, plant alongside cannas, interspersed with ferns and hostas, or near a water feature. Use as a house plant in zones where the ground freezes.

skyflower vine
This clock vine is happy draping itself over a pergola at the Fairchild Tropical Garden in Miami Florida.


Bengal clock vine is an easy to care for plant that can quickly cover a fence or pergola. The gorgeously showy flowers and lush foliage make this a choice addition to any garden.

Jack /Scheper 12/08/97; updated 3/20/00, 1/28/04, 4/23/07, 5/24/09

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Thunbergia species profiled on Floridata:

Thunbergia alata

( black-eyed susan vine )

Thunbergia battiscombei

( scrambling sky flower )

Thunbergia grandiflora

( Bengal clock vine, clock vine, sky flower )

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