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Blue Sky Flower

Scientific Name: Thunbergia grandiflora
Plant Family: Acanthaceae

A woody climber on the outer Hilgard Avenue fence at MEMBG is blue sky flower (Thunbergia grandiflora), a member of the Acanthaceae from subtropical Asia.This frost-hardy vine with large evergreen leaves grows quickly and can cover a fence or wall in a single season. It is named for its large blue to mauve flowers, up to three inches in length, with a deep yellow floral tube. Although widely planted, the rapid growth rate has made blue sky flower an aggressive weed of riparian areas in subtropical areas of Australia where it has been introduced. The genus name honors the Swedish naturalist Carl Peter Thunberg (1743-1828) who was a student of Linnaeus and is famous for his years botanizing the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa.