Thunbergia petersiana Lindau

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Thunbergia petersiana

Photo: Bart Wursten
Aberfoyle, Honde Valley

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Synonyms: Thunbergia chrysops sensu Klotzsch
Thunbergia mollis Lindau
Thunbergia swynnertonii S. Moore var. cordata S. Moore
Thunbergia torrei Benoist
Common names:
Status: Native
Erect or semi-prostrate perennial. Stems several, up to 1 m long, 4-angled, arising from a creeping rootstock. Leaves: petiole 2-14 cm long; lamina ovate to heart-shaped, up to 5-16 × 3-11 cm, glossy, palmately veined, glabrous to densely puberulous and sometimes with longer setose hairs; base cordate with hastate lobes; margin entire or with up to 3 large teeth each side. Flowers solitary or in racemes arising from lower axils. Bracteoles 1.3-2.6 cm, pale green with conspicuous dark green reticulation. Calyx 1-3 mm long. Corolla limb deep blue or deep purple (rarely white or pale blue); throat yellow; tube (2-)3-4.8 cm long (over 4 cm if corolla white). Capsule 8-10 mm wide; beak 13-18 mm long.
Notes: What was thought to be a white-flowered form of this species has now been separated as Thunbergia usambarica. T. petersiana is very similar to T. natalensis and T. oblongifolia, from which it is easily distinguished by the broad, irregularly dentate leaves.
Derivation of specific name: petersiana: named after Professor Wilhelm Peters (1815-1863) of Berlin who collected in Mozambique in the early 19th century.
Habitat: At lower altitudes, below 1100 m, in riverine forest.
Altitude range:
Flowering time:Nov - Feb
Worldwide distribution: From Sudan, Congo, Burundi southwards through East Africa to Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
Malawi distribution: N,C,S
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Content last updated: Wednesday 20 December 2017

Baumann, G. (2005). Photographic Guide to Wildflowers of Malawi Wildlife and Environmental Society of Malawi Pages 134 - 135. (Includes a picture).

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 54. Also as Thunbergia mollis

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 55.

Da Silva, M.C., Izidine, S. & Amude, A.B. (2004). A preliminary checklist of the vascular plants of Mozambique. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 30 Sabonet, Pretoria Page 20.

Golding, J.S. (ed.) (2002). Zimbabwe Plant Red Data List. Southern African Plant Red Data Lists. SABONET 14 Page 178.

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 15.

Vollesen, K. (2013). Acanthaceae (Part 1) Flora Zambesiaca 8(5) Pages 35 - 36.

Other sources of information about Thunbergia petersiana:

Our websites:

Flora of Mozambique: Thunbergia petersiana
Flora of Zambia: Thunbergia petersiana
Flora of Zimbabwe: Thunbergia petersiana

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Thunbergia petersiana
African Plant Database: Thunbergia petersiana
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Thunbergia petersiana
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Thunbergia petersiana
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Thunbergia petersiana
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Thunbergia petersiana
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Thunbergia petersiana
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network): Thunbergia petersiana
iNaturalist: Thunbergia petersiana
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Thunbergia petersiana
JSTOR Plant Science: Thunbergia petersiana
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Thunbergia petersiana
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Thunbergia petersiana
Plants of the World Online: Thunbergia petersiana
Tropicos: Thunbergia petersiana
Wikipedia: Thunbergia petersiana

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2014-23

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2023). Flora of Malawi: Species information: Thunbergia petersiana., retrieved 22 March 2023

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