Blue thunbergia

Native to India, blue thunbergia is a small, low vine with slender climbing stems. It can threaten remnant vegetation and degrade the banks of creeks and rivers. Blue thunbergia is found along coastal streams and rivers in north Queensland.

Blue thunbergia is a restricted invasive plant under the Biosecurity Act 2014.

Scientific name

Thunbergia grandiflora (syn. Thinbergia laurifolia)

Other names

Blue trumpet vine, blue sky vine, laurel clock vine

Description

  • Vigorous perennial twining vine.
  • Leaves are choko-like, up to 15cm long and 10cm wide, pointed tip.
  • Flowers are trumpet-shaped with short, broad tube, white on outside, yellow inside, expanding to 5 rounded, pale lavender-blue petals up to 8cm long and 6-8cm wide.
  • Seed pods are cone-shaped, 3-5cm long with rounded base.
  • Seeds are flat, up to 1cm long covered in brown scales.
  • Tuberous root system, some as large as 70kg.

Habitat

  • Found along banks of rivers and creeks.

Distribution in Queensland

  • Scattered along coastal streams from Tully River to Daintree.
  • Infestations occur in Mulgrave, Johnstone and lower Mossman rivers.

Life cycle

  • Propagation is from stem cuttings or shoots from tuberous roots.

Impacts

Environmental

  • Threatens remnant vegetation in Wet Tropics.
  • Degrades banks of creeks and rivers.

How it is spread

  • Spread primarily via ornamental plant trade.
  • Root pieces can spread by floodwater.

Control measures

Physical control

  • Dig out small plants.

Herbicide control

  • Herbicides are effective.

See the Thunbergia fact sheet (PDF, 2.9MB) for herbicide control and application rates.

Biological control

  • No known biological control agents.

Legal requirements

  • Blue thunbergia is a restricted invasive plant under the Biosecurity Act 2014.
  • It must not be given away, sold, or released into the environment without a permit.
  • The Act requires everyone to take all reasonable and practical steps to minimise the risks associated with invasive plants and animals under their control. This is called a general biosecurity obligation (GBO).
  • At a local level, each local government must have a biosecurity plan that covers invasive plants and animals in its area. This plan may include actions to be taken on certain species. Some of these actions may be required under local laws. Contact your local government for more information.

More information