The genus is named in honour of Swedish Botanist Carl Thunberg who travelled as a doctor with the Dutch East India Company ships and did extensive botanical exploration in southern Africa. The specific name is derived from the province of Natal (now Kwazulu-Natal) where the plant occurs naturally. The dwarf thunbergia is a shrub up to 1 metre in height. The slender stems arise from a woody base and are mostly unbranched. The leaves are dark green, ovate (slightly broader at the base) to elliptic (broadest part of the leaf is in the middle) in shape and the margins may be toothed. The leaves are arranged opposite to one another on the stems. The flowers are large, tubular, pale blue to mauve with spreading lobes. The tube is bottle-shaped and yellowish-white inside. Flowering takes place throughout summer. The seeds are borne in club-shaped capsules that explode when ripe, scattering the seeds. The natural distribution is throughout the eastern regions of South Africa, from the Eastern Cape, through Kwazulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Swaziland, Northern Province, Zimbabwe and north into east Africa. The dwarf thunbergia occurs naturally along forest margins, in bush and in grassland. It occurs in the higher summer rainfall areas of South Africa and is adapted to dry winters by going dormant.
USDA Zone - 8
Season to sow - Spring
Sign up to our newsletter to be the first to hear about our latest offers, growing tips and products!