Black-eyed Susans

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Black-eyed Susans or Thunbergia alata are magnificent climbers with unique black-hearted flowers. Native to Africa, these plants can acclimatise outdoors, but in a well-sheltered location. They have opposite leaves that are 8 cm long, triangular in shape, and yellow-orange flowers with black hearts that are 4 cm in diameter. Among the hundreds of species, Thunbergia alata and grandiflora are the most cultivated for flowering on a trellis or pyramid-shaped support in the middle of a summer flowerbed. Thunbergias prefer rich, humus-bearing, well-drained soil and a sunny or partially shaded position, but protected from the wind.

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