Thunbergia oblongifolia Oliv.

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Thunbergia oblongifolia

Photo: Bart Wursten
Vumba rd near Westaway

Thunbergia oblongifolia

Photo: Bart Wursten
Cleveland Dam

Thunbergia oblongifolia

Photo: Bill Clarke
South of Middle Dam, Val D'Or

Thunbergia oblongifolia

Photo: Bill Clarke
South of Middle Dam, Val D'Or

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Thunbergia lancifolia sensu Mapaura & Timberlake non T. Anderson
Common names: Early blue thunbergia (English) Mufurambudzi (Shona) Mukuvamvura (Shona) Musvisvinwa (Shona)
Frequency: Common
Status: Native
Perennial herb with stems to 70 cm, arising from a woody rootstock. Leaves: lamina 3-11 cm, lanceolate to elliptic or obovate. Flowers solitary; pedicels glabrous to pubescent; bracteoles glabrous to puberulous with non-glandular hairs. Calyx 1-3 mm long; lobes broadly triangular. Corolla limb blue to dark blue or mauve, rarely white; lower part of tube white to pale yellow. Capsule with beak 2 cm long. Seeds with lateral wing.
Notes: Notes: (a) The leaves are tough but cooked as a spinach and an infusion of the plant is used as a lotion for skin diseases. Children often pick the flowers to suck the sweet nectar.
(b) The flowers of this species are similar to T. natalensis, which has ovate leaves, and the blue-flowered form of T. petersiana, which has irregularly dentate leaves. Both those species are restricted to the Eastern Districts.
Derivation of specific name: oblongifolia: with oblong leaves
Habitat: A common spring flower in open grassland and at the edges of Brachystegia woodland, especially after fire. The large, blue and yellow flowers are attractive but short-lived.
Altitude range: (metres) 1170 - 1660 m
Flowering time:Aug - Nov
Worldwide distribution: Tanzania, Burundi, DRC, Zambia and Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe distribution: N,C,E
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Tuesday 8 February 2011

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. as Thunbergia lancifolia

Plowes, D.C.H. & Drummond, R.B. (1990). Wild Flowers of Zimbabwe. Revised edition. Longman, Zimbabwe. No. 130, plate 171

Vollesen, K. (2013). Acanthaceae (Part 1) Flora Zambesiaca 8(5) Page 44.

Other sources of information about Thunbergia oblongifolia:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Thunbergia oblongifolia
Flora of Mozambique: Thunbergia oblongifolia
Flora of Zambia: Thunbergia oblongifolia

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Thunbergia oblongifolia
African Plant Database: Thunbergia oblongifolia
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Thunbergia oblongifolia
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Thunbergia oblongifolia
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Thunbergia oblongifolia
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Thunbergia oblongifolia
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Thunbergia oblongifolia
JSTOR Plant Science: Thunbergia oblongifolia
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Thunbergia oblongifolia
Plants of the World Online: Thunbergia oblongifolia
Tropicos: Thunbergia oblongifolia
Wikipedia: Thunbergia oblongifolia

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Thunbergia oblongifolia., retrieved 22 May 2024

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