Home' The River Weekly News : RWN 010518 Contents Plant Smart
by Gerri Reaves
Bengal clock vine’s
flowers give it several common
names, including sky flower
and sky vine. The flower shape
inspires the name Bengal
The cultivar “Alba” has
white rather than bluish flowers.
As the name implies, this
species is a native of India. It
is one of four Thunbergias in
Florida, all non-native.
This hardy spreading twining
vine can be erect or climbing,
growing as much as 20 or 30
feet in a year. It is potentially
invasive, so be careful where
you plant it. It has escaped
cultivation in Florida.
The numerous drooping
clusters of flowers on the dense
foliage make it superficially
resemble a morning glory
vine. The bell-shaped
white- or yellow- throated
flowers measure about three
inches across, thus the term
Grandiflora, Latin for large-flowered.
The opposite evergreen leaves are heart-shaped and broad, the seed capsule
inconspicuous and beaked. Bengal clock vine prefers full sun to partial shade, plenty of
moisture, and well-drained soil.
Like many aggressive cascading vines, it works well on a trellis or fence, in planters,
or as a hanging plant. It flowers all year. It has moderate drought tolerance, low
salt tolerance and is prone to nematodes and iron deficiency. The leaves are used
medicinally in Malay culture.
If you’re set on having a blue- or lavender-flowered vine in your landscape, consider
skyblue clustervine (Jacquemontia pentanthos) instead. That native, also called blue
jacquemontia and Key West morning-glory, is endangered in the state and attracts
many native pollinators and is a nectar source for butterflies.
Sources: Betrock’s Florida Plant Guide by Edward F. Gilman; Florida Landscape
Plants by John V. Watkins and Thomas J. Sheehan; Florida, My Eden by Frederic B.
Stresau; Florida’s Fabulous Flowers by Winston Williams; www.floridata.com; www.
ifas.ufl.edu; and www.south-florida-plant-guide.com.
Plant Smart explores the diverse flora of South Florida.
Bengal clock vine is a non-native ornamental with
photo by Gerri Reaves
THE RIVER - JANUARY 5, 2018
EXPERIENCE: HUNDREDS OF SUCCESSFUL LANDSCAPES
300 Center Road, Fort Myers FL 33907
PHONE 239.939.9663 • FAX 239.939.8504
www.NoLawn.com • www.AllNative.biz
OUR NURSERY FEATURES
OVER 200 SPECIES OF NATIVE
PLANTS ON SEVERAL ACRES
■ Butterfly Gardens ■
■ Wildlife/Bird Sanctuaries ■
We also offer landscape design,
consultation, installation and maintenance.
OPEN: Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays 9am to 5pm
At County Park
Lakes Regional Park will be the
site of a nature walk with a Lee
County Bird Patrol Guide on
Saturday, January 6 at 8 a.m. It is free
with paid parking.
Provided in cooperation with Lee
County Parks and Recreation, the
stroll is along clear paths that offer
an opportunity to see birds in native
vegetation with experienced guides
pointing out the many species in the
park, a Lee County birding hot spot
and crucial nesting area for many birds.
Those interested are asked to wear
comfortable shoes and dress to be
outside. Bring water, sunscreen and
Bring binoculars, sun protection,
shoes that can get wet, a bottle of
drinking water, your curiosity and love
Lakes Regional Park is located at
7330 Gladiolus Drive in Fort Myers.
Meet at Shelter A7. Enter Lakes Park
gate from Gladiolus Drive. Turn right.
Drive to end of road, continue through
the parking lot. Shelter A7 is located
near the train station.
For more information, call 533-7580
or 533-7576 or visit www.birdpatrol.
Peace River Sail and Power
Squadron will present America’s
Boating Course at the Punta
Gorda Boat Club on Saturday, January
27 at 8:30 a.m. The second class will
be held on Saturday, February 10 at the
The two sessions will cover
boating law, safety equipment, safe
boating practices, navigation, boating
emergencies, personal watercraft,
charts, GPS, trailering, and much
more. Attendees will receive the
America’s Boating Course manual, and
after passing an exam, a completion
certificate. The class is approved by the
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commission for the Florida Boater
Safety Education ID Card, required for
anyone born after January 1, 1988
who operates a motorboat with 10
horsepower or more in Florida waters.
The course is also approved by the
National Association of State Boating
Law Administrators and the U.S . Coast
The $65 fee (for the first person,
$25 for second sharing materials)
covers the cost of the manual. For
more information or to reserve your
space, call 941-637-0766 or email
Registration deadline for this class is
Wednesday January 24.
Peace River Sail & Power Squadron
is a safe boating advisory to the Punta
Gorda Boaters’ Alliance. The Punta
Gorda Boat Club is located at 802
Retta Esplanade in Punta Gorda.
The San Carlos Bay Power
Squadron, a unit of the United
States Power Squadrons, will be
conducting its popular Local Waters
Chart Reading class on Saturday,
January 20 from 8 a.m. to noon.
The class will be held at the squadron
classroom located at 16048 San Carlos
Boulevard in Fort Myers.
The class will teach students how
to read our local waters chart number
11427. Students will learn the basics
of latitude and longitude, how to find
where they are and how to get to
where they want to go and how to take
There are a very limited number of
charts in the classroom, so students
are strongly urged to bring the chart to
class. Charts are best purchased online
from Ocean Grafix. Be sure to order
the MAPFOLD version.
Cost of the class is $45 for a single
and $70 for two people sharing the
materials. The cost includes a divider
and a plotter. Students can register
online at www.SCBPS.com or call
466-4040 and leave a message.
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