Bengal Clock Vine
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Bengal Clock Vine
ative Photo: Dinesh Valke
Common name: Bengal Clock Vine, Bengal Trumpet Vine, Blue Sky Flower, Blue Sky Vine, Blue Trumpet Vine • Adi: Cocoriang • Hindi: नील लता Neel lata • Gujarati: Tumakhlung • Bengali: নীল লতা Neel lota • Assamese: Kukua loti • Mizo: Vakohrui, Zawngafian, Vako • Khasi: Jermi khnong, Syntiew jyrni chankhlaw • Nepali: काग चुच्चे Kaagchuchche, काग फुली Kagphulee
Botanical name: Thunbergia grandiflora       Family: Acanthaceae (Acanthus family)
Synonyms: Thunbergia chinensis, Thunbergia cordifolia, Thunbergia malvifolia

The Bengal Clock Vine has been called by some "the most beautiful vine in the world". From a distance, this twining, flowering vine looks like a morning glory and even up close the flowers are quite similar. The curious name clock vine comes from the fact that it twines around a support in a clockwise direction. It is a vigorous evergreen vine and native to northern India. From the rope-like stems, that can reach to the top of large structure or even cover a good sized tree, emerge the dark green leaves that are leathery and have a distinctive elongated heart shape, 4-5 inches long and often have a slightly toothed margin. The beautiful 3 inch wide pale blue or white flowers are cup-like with pale yellow to cream blue striped centers. This plant can be in bloom at nearly any time of year but will sulk during cold months. The rampant growth of this vine can be somewhat controlled by giving or withholding irrigation - once established it needs only be watered occasionally. Bengal Clock Vine is find throughout India, and also in East Himalaya at altitudes of 400-1500 m. Flowering: March-November.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Vaghbil, Maharashtra & Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad.

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