King's Mantle
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King's Mantle
ntroduced Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Bush Clock Vine, King's Mantle
Botanical name: Thunbergia erecta    Family: Acanthaceae (Acanthus family)
Synonyms: Meyenia erecta

King's Mantle is an upright shrub growing up to 4 ft. The shoots are quadrangular and each angle bears a narrow wing. Leaves are ovate-elliptic, and oppositely arranged. Leaf margin is entire or wavy or occasionally with a broad triangular tooth above the middle. Flowers occur in leaf axils, either singly or in pairs, sitting on peduncles up to 1.5 inches long. Sepals cup is short, bowl shaped. Flower tube is 1.5-2.5 inches long, slightly conical at the base, swelling above, and distinctly curved. The flower tube flares open into five dark purple, roundish petals, yellowish-white at the base. It can be grown as a bush with weeping branches or it can be trained like a vine. It is not always easy to come by in the nursery. The flowers are absolutely wonderful and it flowers in the colder season. King's Mantle is native to west Africa, but commonly cultivated in India.

Photographed in Garden of Five Senses, Delhi.
Identification credit: Navendu PagĂ© • Is this flower misidentified? If yes,