This attractive species is making its way up the walls of the western corridor of the Glasshouse Range.
A Burmese native, Thunbergia papilionacea is one of approximately 100 species of annuals, evergreen perennials and shrubs with opposite leaves from tropical and southern Africa, and tropical Asia. Members of the genus have tubular or salverform flowers (with a narrow tube and petals bent back at an acute angle to the tube) of blue, yellow, orange, red or white, which are borne in the leaf axils or in terminal racemes. In T. papilionacea the flowers are carried in terminal racemes, and the orange petals reflex back against the flower tube to create an open-mouthed flower, which sits in a long, paper-like calyx. The genus belongs to the Acanthaceae, which is a mainly tropical family, whose most familiar member in our gardens is bear’s breeches, Acanthus mollis.