Black-eyed Susan Vine


Black-eyed Susan Vine

Although the Black-eyed Susan Vine (Thunbergia alata) shares the same name as many Rudbeckia hirta flowers (Black & Brown-eyed Susan), this is the only relationship between the two.  Rudbeckia is from the Aster and Daisy family, where this vine is from the Aeanthaceae (Acanthus) family. 



Sometimes known as the Clock Vine, Thunbergia alata is a quick growing herbaceous vine with open faced, five petal flowers having heart shaped leaves. 

Most vines, including this one, are not native to North America.  It is important to note that this quick growing vine can become invasive given the right conditions.


Considered perennials, if grown in planting zones where frosts occur this will behave as an annual.  In this case place in container and bring in over winter.


The vine starts blooming in June or July through early fall, depending on planting zones.  They are:

  • Good as a vine, ground cover or in hanging baskets.
  • Grows in full sun, shade or partial shade.
  • Likes plenty of moisture.
  • Most soil types as long as they are well-drained.
  • Temperatures lower than 50 degrees Fahrenheit can kill vine.
  • Requires long growing season.
  • Colors include red, orange, yellow and cream with dark centers
  • Grows 6-8 feet tall.



Because this is a vine it is best to install support like a trellis, pergola or fence.  The larger the support, the greater the spread and it will also provide great shade if that is the goal.  It's best to keep away from gardens because the plant can easily re-seed.

Thunbergia alata

Other colors that Black-eyed Susan vine can be found in include:

  • 'Susie Mix' - Orange, yellow and white flowers with dark centers.
  • 'Alba' - White flowers and dark center.
  • 'Canary Eyes' - Pale yellow with dark centers.
  • 'Tiger Eyes' - Bright yellow with dark centers.
  • 'Spanish Eyes - Combination of peach, rose and cream colors.


Thunbergia alata propagates by seed and stem cuttings.  Start seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before last frost date or directly into soil after last frost.  Germination is about 10-15 days.  Because this plant is tender it's a good idea to use mulch to keep roots cool.


This is only one of many flowers that attract butterflies and many pollinators.  Click to view more flowers here.  Some also can invite deer into your yard.  If you are having a problem with this click on the page attracting deer to get an idea of plants that you may want to stay away from.




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