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Thunbergia laurifolia (laurel clock vine)

A vigorous climber from India, Burma and Malaysia, laurel clock vine is a popular ornamental in the tropics.
Thunbergia laurifolia (laurel clock vine) flower

Thunbergia laurifolia (laurel clock vine) at Kew

Species information

Scientific name: 

Thunbergia laurifolia Lindl.

Common name: 

laurel clock vine, blue trumpet vine, laurel-leaved thunbergia

Conservation status: 

Not assessed according to IUCN Red List criteria.

Habitat: 

Tropical forests, as a climber on trees.

Key Uses: 

Ornamental, medicine.

Known hazards: 

None known.

Taxonomy

Subclass: 
Superorder: 
Asteranae
Order: 
Lamiales
Family: 
Acanthaceae
Genus: Thunbergia

About this species

Thunbergia laurifolia is a vigorous climber from Asia. The generic name Thunbergia commemorates Swedish physician and botanist Carl Peter Thunberg (1743–1828), who was a protégé of the great Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus. The specific epithet laurifolia refers to its laurel-shaped leaves.

It is cultivated as an ornamental in gardens in tropical regions and in heated glasshouses in temperate regions. It is used medicinally in Thailand and Malaysia, although it is considered an invasive in other tropical regions.

Thunbergia laurifolia leaves are reported to have detoxifying effects, and in Thailand they are used as an antidote for poisons and in the treatment of drug addiction. Herbal teas and capsules containing T. laurifolia are sold in Thailand, where they are known as rang jeud.

A Thai study published in 2012 suggested that laurel clock vine has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It concluded that it may be effective in treating inflammations caused by Opisthorchis viverrinia (southeast Asian liver fluke), a parasite that attacks the liver and is endemic in northern areas of Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.

Synonym: 

Thunbergia grandiflora Roxb. var. laurifolia (Lindl.) Benoist

Genus: 
Thunbergia

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