The dwarf thunbergia or Natal blue bell is a hairy, erect herb up to 1 m in height. It produces slender stems covered in dark green, stalked or stalkless, opposite leaves that are ovate in shape with toothed margins.
The flowers have five broad, light blue or mauve petals at the end of funnel-shaped tubes that are yellow inside.
This plant grows in KwaZulu-Natal and the Lowveld, also beyond the border in tropical Africa to at least Kenya. The habitat is forest edges, grassland or bush.
It is a common garden plant, propagated from seeds in spring, watered well during summer and cut back during winter. It is frost resistant (www.plantzafrica.com; http://redlist.sanbi.org).