Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Thunbergia chrysops Hook.

Frost tender annual climber with heart-shaped leaves and blue-violet to purple flowers with yellow eyes in early summer.  To 90cm.  [RHSD].

Horticultural & Botanical History

First botanically described by William Hooker in 1844. ‘This most lovely new species of Thunbergia is one of the many rarities which Mr. Whitfield has, not without great danger and risk, brought from the interior of Sierra Leone, to the Right Honorable the Earl of Derby; and our stove in the Royal Botanic Gardens of Kew, and many other stoves we believe in this country, are indebted to his Lordship for the possession of it. The same gentleman, Mr. Whitfield, has likewise introduced to Knowsley, and through the same distinguished nobleman to Kew, the curious Napoleana Imperialis and the African Teak, or African Oak, as it is frequently called. Our new Thunbergia has the merit of not only being very beautiful, but easily cultivated in a stove, readily increased by cuttings, soon flowering, and bearing a succession of blossoms to compensate for the short duration of each individual one.’  [BM t.4119/1844]. The illustration used here is taken from this journal.

 ‘Charming as most of the Thunbergias are, the superiority of the species now represented must at once be admitted by every beholder; for the beautiful variety of tint exhibited in its large blossoms, fully entitles it to the first rank in the genus.’  [MB p.221/1844]. 

The British Florist gave a beautiful figure of it, the flowers purple, the petals sky blue towards their base, and with a yellow eye.  It can be induced to take a more shrubby form by pinching out the growing points.  [BF pl.62/1844].  FC p.253/1844.  FS p.15 vol.1/1845.

History at Camden Park

Listed only in the 1857 catalogue [H.220/1857].


Published Feb 15, 2009 - 01:37 PM | Last updated May 02, 2011 - 07:57 PM

Twining climber with heart-shaped leaves and blue-violet flowers with yellow eyes.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.4119, 1844.

Thunbergia chrysops Hook. | BM t.4119/1844 | BHL

Family Acanthaceae
Region of origin

Tropical Africa

Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Thunbergia chrysops 

Confidence level high