- San Diego Zoo
Bloom time (approximate):
- Late summer and fall
Vines: Clock Vine Thunbergia mysorensis
FAMILY: ACANTHACEAE (Acanthus Family)
Every now and then a significant plant breathes its last, and we sadly bid it adieu. Such as the case for the "Mother of All Thunbergias," the modest Old World vine with the showy flowers that used to grace the front of the San Diego Zoo's Flamingo Cafe. It received its title because many (or perhaps most) of the Thunbergia mysorensis in the continental United States originally sprang from this vine. During a renovation, however, the historic plant was compromised, root rot was discovered, and we reluctanlty consigned it to the compost heap.
All is not lost, however! Its progeny still live on in the Zoo as well as in nurseries and yards throughout the country. You'll see some of its thriving offspring at the Hummingbird House and the south side of the Reptile House. The best time to view Thunbergia vines is in late summer and fall, when they sprout plenty of pendulous clusters of gorgeous red and gold flowers.