Finally blooming – Green Thumb Sunday

This summer, I found a tiny vine and decided to buy it. I thought it would be a blue version of the Black-Eyed Susan vine. I had never seen one before, so was curious about it. Throughout the summer, it twined and twisted without ever putting out a bloom.

Last week, as I was watering the vine, (it has resided indoors since late September) I saw some buds. Every day I have been checking to see if it is in bloom. Today it appeared.

As the picture shows, it isn’t much like its black-eyed Susan counterpart. I’ve discovered that this vine, called a Bengal Clock Vine is Thunbergia grandiflora while the Black-Eyed Susan Vine is Thunbergia alata. So I have learned something new.

I’m hoping that this vine can survive the winter indoors. So far it is doing well, but there are many months left until I can haul it back outside. With the temperatures hovering around -15c this morning, it is quite miraculous to have this lovely bloom brightening my life!

49 thoughts on “Finally blooming – Green Thumb Sunday

  1. That is just a perfect little bloom, Kate! Thanks for sharing it with us. For some reason, I get the feeling that most plants make a special effort to bloom for you! You certainly have a way with them and I think they can tell. 🙂

  2. It certainly is beautiful. I hope it survives. Congratulations, by the way, on surviving the Blog Posting Month. I could never have done it (obviously).

  3. That is a pretty vine and I hope it continues to grow inside for you.We are having a winter storm for GTS

  4. I’ve heard of this vine, but never expected to see it blooming in Saskachewan on December 2nd – what a lovely blue, Kate! Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  5. I love the color and the shape of the petals — so beautiful! Thanks for sharing it with us, and happy GTS!

  6. Gorgeous! I love flowers in the winter. I have a crazy azalea that bursts into brilliant red flowers every year just as we head into the winter solstice. I find it so inspiring that plants want to blossom even during the darkest days.

  7. Pam @ Digging says:We call that sky vine here in Austin, Kate. It’s a beautiful vine, though frost tender. In a protected location, it survives our winters. I’ve seen it in several lovely gardens on the Open Days Austin tour.How lucky you are to have that flower blooming in winter in Canada—and indoors, where you can appreciate it up close.

  8. Wooooo getting a bloom like that indoors is special. Just a gorgeous photo.

  9. It’s really surprising it is now blooming at this time of year. It is a beautiful flower, and nice leaves too. I love vines, and would like to have more, but so many won’t make it through our summers so we have to stick with about 5 choices. None of them have blue flowers, which are my favorite. We can grow Passion Vines, which have a color similar to the one you’ve featured.Happy GTSk!Aiyana

  10. wow, Kate. That is a beautiful bloom. So Blue. How many buds are on the vine? Will you have a blue blue Christmas?

  11. What a great winter-time surprise! It’s so beautiful! I’m not sure I’ve ever seen one of these before! Nice lighting on the pic too!

  12. Lovely photo! You are so lucky to have something blooming inside. Happy GTS!~Sarah

  13. Given that the vine is living in your home and that you are caring for it, I imagine that it will not only survive, but flourish.

  14. Beautiful bloom, Kate! And I love the Phyllis Diller picture celebrating the end of NaBloPoMo. HA! xoxo

  15. Hi Teeni – Thank you! I wish I had more plants that would be in blooming mode now – I love having my outdoor plants indoors. It’s carrying a bit of summer with me through winter. Gwapasila – I’m glad you visited my blog. I stopped by your blog yesterday afternoon. You live in a much warmer climate than mine! Anna Maria – I hope it survives too. Some of the bottom leaves are yellowing, but otherwise the plant seems to be okay. I don’t think I would ever do another month of blog posting. On some days, it felt like more of a chore than a joy as it usually is. Crafty Gardener – I noticed that Ontario and Québec have been hit with lots of snow. I hope it doesn’t last for too long. Annie – This is a beautiful blue. It made my day to find a bud had opened yesterday. Genie – The petals have this cool wave to them along with a fuzzy interior. I imagine it is popular with bees – too bad I couldn’t have some of those inside to make it feel even more like summer. Sparkling Red – I love having plants that bloom erratically. It’s as if they are defying the rest of their compatriots. Pam – It would be incredible living in a climate where this vine could remain outside all year long. It seems very sturdy with much thicker leaves than on the Black-Eyed Susan vine. I am really graterful to have it blooming now. Iowa Gardening Women – It is truly a beautiful vine. Lisa – I couldn’t quite believe it when I first saw the buds forming. That was quite a long while ago – with the really cold temperatures and keeping the house on the cool side, it seemed to take forever for the buds to burst open. Aiyana – I love vines and wish that I could grow more perennial ones. But I’m happy to schlepp them into the house in autumn just so I can enjoy them in summer. Willow – At the moment, there are three buds in a cluster alongside the big bloom. I would love to have a truly blue Christmas. I get tired of red and green!Naturegirl – I hope you didn’t receive too much snow. It looks as if we will have a colder-than-normal winter with more snow too. Angie – This was a big surprise – I was disappointed during the summer when the vine didn’t seem to want to bloom. So it has really redeemed itself. Sarah – I am really glad to have a bloom at the moment that is quite different from the ones we see at this time of year. Pam – Please keep your fingers crossed for me that I can keep all of my vines alive throughout the winter. Linda – I loved the Phyllis Diller picture – just hope that no one thinks that is me!!

  16. Hi Kate: your bloom looks much like a morning glory… hmmm I wonder if they are related? Wow! I’m not familiar with NaBloPoMo but posting everyday would be very difficult although I know some do it naturally. Enjoyed reading through your site. Would you mind if I linked to your site from mine?

  17. Hi Kate,I didn’t know there was a such a vine before seeing your post. For the life of me I couldn’t figure out what vine could be blooming right now. It’s a great little flower.

  18. What a beauty you’ve got there! I hope it will overwinter well for you and thrive come spring!

  19. What a great looking flower and an interesting name. I hope it grows good for you.

  20. Kate, how do you go outdoors with -15º ? Here it’s cold, about 10º and I feel frozen.Beautiful vine, I have my T.alata in flower now. You expected to have the blue flowers with the dark eye? Don’t worry, it is very beatiful like that.Cris

  21. I agree with Meems, it looks like morning glory or a close relative. If it is keep an eye on it, they are very invasive.

  22. Really beautiful, let’s hope it survives! I guess the problem indoors is not the cold but the light, usually outdoor plants need plenty of light.Answering your question in my blog, in the place where I live we don’t have so much frost and these plants (hedera and lamium) can cope with it. When I read about countries like yours I realise why winter solstice parties (from which Christmas originated) were, and are, so important, people must feel a great need for the sun to come back and the days to get bigger. In here we don’t feel it so much, our longing is for rain, and in these last years we realise that this longing is getting more frequent because of global warming.

  23. The color is so calming–what a beautiful thing to see you through the winter. Funny, down here in the high desert, our indoor geraniums don’t bloom until the late fall. The sun is so intense until then.

  24. That’s beautiful! That looks just like the vine that grows along the glass wall at our local nursery. I’m going to pay them a visit and ask. Theirs blooms profusely. Does it have a fragrance at all?I have such poor luck with anything indoors, whether it’s indoor plants or those I bring in as you’ve done with this one. This is so beautiful it makes me want to try.Diane, Sand to Glass& Dogs Naturally

  25. As always, you inspire me to head outdoors, get my fingers dirty in the soil and smell the fresh herbs growing en masse… g xo

  26. Meems – The flowers do have a morning-glory look to them, but they are much thicker and are lasting for much longer. I don’t think they are related at all to morning glories. Posting every day was a big challenge for me. I write a lot every day, but coming up with a blog post topic every day at this time of year wasn’t easy. Mr. Brown Thumb – I am really please with this vine – it seems so sturdy, although I might think otherwise if it doesn’t survive through the winter. I left it outside when it got really cold and I think that might have delayed its blooming.Nikkipolani – Let’s hope it is still thriving (or at least alive) come spring. I imagine you could grow this vine without any difficulty.Curtis – The flower is beautiful – it still looks great. There are now two blooms. I hope they last for a bit. I want to do some reading about the origins of its name. The vine originates in India.Cris – Going out in -15c is not easy until one gets used to it. We have to dress really warmly (my scarves come in handy) and walk fast. No one stops to talk for more than a minute or two … if it is windy, it is brutal. After -34c temperatures though, -15c these past two days feels almost warm (well not really!). I love T. alata which is why I bought this vine expecting black eyes. But, I was pleasantly surprised with how beautiful this flower is too. The leaves are also interesting – very leather-like.MariaJ – It does feel like a miracle at this time of year. It’s almost looks tropical in my living room!Rusty – I don’t think this plant is related to morning glories. We don’t have to worry about the invasiveness of morning glories here because of our freezing, long winters. They die off before our temperatures even hit 0c.Jardineira aprendiz – I am worried that there won’t be enough light in my living room to keep this plant alive. I have quite a bit of light, but we are not having much sunshine these days. You are very lucky not to have frost, although not getting enough rain creates its own problems too! It is so true that we need to have celebrations here because of the short days. We are supposed to be having a colder-than-normal winter here. I like snow, but I don’t like the cold. San – The colour truly is a calming one. I just hope it continues to bloom for a long while! I’d be okay with some intense heat for many months … at least I say that now! It might be different if I lived with it year in and year out. Marie – It is beautiful, I agree.Diane – This vine loves sunshine, but can’t take much frost (from what I’ve read). It was easy to grow outdoors this summer, but I’m curious to see if I can keep it alive all winter long. It doesn’t have any fragrance that I’ve noticed. Good luck if you try it. Gracia – I hope you are outdoors enjoying your garden. I love getting my fingers into the dirt. Enjoy your fresh herbs, lucky you!

  27. What a pretty shade of blue/violet! If it’s blooming inside, I have no doubt you can ‘keep’ it just fine until spring.

  28. What a beautiful bloom! The Bengal Clock Vine is native to India. Starting from Sikkim, West Bengal is the place through which River Rangeet flows. ;)You have a lovely blog here and I shall return to check out on more beauty here. 🙂

  29. Great looking flower especially with the winter drabness upon us. How large is the bloom?

  30. a winter’s miracle to lift your spirits and warm your heart! i’m a firm believer in miracles. i discovered the alata version of thunbergia while living in the Yukon, and used to fill the windowboxes @ my cabin on the Yukon river near Dawson City with them. they bring to mind honest, homespun generosity and optimism. these glandifloras speak more of understated elegance and and quiet dignity. a bit like you, dear Kate.

  31. Hi Kylee – I hope you are right about this and that I can keep it alive. It is a beautiful colour. Indicaspecies – Thank you for visiting! I imagine that this part of India must be filled with beautiful plants. Ki – The bloom is about 7cm (about 2 1/2 to 3 inches). I am really enjoying the blooms … the two of the 5 blooms look great. I think they will last for a spell. Grannyfiddler – I also believe in miracles and happystance. Your comment about growing alatas took me back to the first time I saw them. They were the pale lemon-coloured ones and I think they helped inspire me to want to grow things. They are simple, but beautiful flowers (which is what I thought I was growing here!)Thank you for your lovely words …

  32. oh my word, that is lovely!What a breath of fresh air in our frozen north!! Thanks so much for sharing!Kate (in the Kitchen)

  33. what a beautiful bloom! blue is my favorite color – i’m lobbying for a blue coach bag for christmas ooh lala!yes, i have been writing i’ll post chapter 2 soon.whats for dinner?

  34. Hi kate, ow, that is so nice to see somthing that beautiful in bloom at this time of year, how cheerful.

  35. you have been tagged!!! with all these comments i don’t know when you will find time to write 5 random things about yourself… please, whenever you find time, visit my blog at to see the rules!! thanks kate.laura

  36. Hi Kate,I checked with two nurseries here in the Phoenix area and neither stocks this vine, even though grows in USDA Zones 9b-ll. The nurseries say that it must have abundant water with soil that is constantly moist, and that is why they don’t stock it. Too bad. I was looking forward to having one.Aiyana

  37. Ida – It really is beautiful. A new bloom opened today.Kate – Especially with the weather we’ve been having, this was a treat. I hope you’re doing better.Aria – Blue is my favourite colour too … I hope you get your Coach bag! It’s great you are writing!Ruth – Cheerful is truly what these are!Laura – Thank you! I will do the meme soon. Mary – I had really given up on seeing any blooms from this. It was an early present. I love the colour. Teeni – Thank you … I will get over to vaguetarian and check it out. Aiyana – I’m sorry to hear that. My vine seems to thrive on not being watered very often. But then, mine is growing in a pot and our summer is short here.

  38. What a nice surprise for you! That is a beautiful color of blue. I love having something blooming indoors during the winter.

  39. Just beautiful, Kate. I’ve read about these flowers but never seen them. You surely have a green thumb.

  40. Hi dear Kate! I can only imagine what it would feel like to be in -15C, the nearest experience I had was when i thrust my head into the freezer compartment of my refrigerator!Glad that that bloom is brightening up your life in such frigid temperatures.

  41. I like thubergeras and did not know they came in blue. How lovely to have flowers inside when outside it is winter. Thank you for sharing!

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