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Blue Butterfly Pea
Clitoria ternatea

English Common Name: Blue Butterfly Pea, Asian Pigeonwings, Blue Pea Vine, Bluebellvine, Cordofan Pea, Darwin Pea

Chinese Name / 中文名: 蝶豆 (Dié dòu), 蝴蝶花豆 (Húdié huā dòu)

Other Local Name: Bunga Telang or Pokok Kacang Telang (Malay)

Family Name: Fabaceae

Scientific Name: Clitoria ternatea

Synonym: Clitoria albiflora, Clitoria bracteata, Clitoria coelestris, Clitoria parviflora, Clitoria philippensis, Clitoria pilosula, Clitoria ternatea var. pilosula, Clitoria ternatensium, Lathyrus spectabilis, Nauchea ternatea, Ternatea ternatea, Ternatea vulgaris

Classification: Angiosperms (Flowering Plants)‎ > ‎Magnoliophyta (Flowering Plants Division)‎ > ‎Fabales‎ > ‎Fabaceae (Bean Family)‎ > ‎Clitoria

Origin: Pan-tropical

Growth Habit: Climber

Characteristic: A vigorous, strongly persistent herbaceous perennial climber with 5 petals bright deep blue flowers about 4 cm long and 3 cm wide, and a yellowish white center. Some varieties with white, mauve or light blue flowers. Leaves pinnate with five to seven leaflets in opposite alternate, green with reticulate venation, and elliptic, obtuse or nearly orbicular in shape. Stems slender and weak with a strong woody rootstock. The fruits are 5 – 7 cm long, flat pods with six to ten kidney shaped seeds in each pod.

Care Requirements: Prefers full sun and moderate watering. It has a very fast growth rate when planted in fertile soil and receives good sunlight. Lush soil with lots of organic matter and good drainage is ideal for this plant. However it is not suitable for soil that is too wet or acidic. The plant flowers all year round in tropical climate but in temperate climate it blooms in spring and summer. It is sensitive to frost.

Uses: Widely planted in Asia as an ornamental plant on fence. Pea eaten as food. Flower use as traditional nyonya food coloring and as traditional supplements. The plant can also fix nitrogen and increase organic matter in soils.

Images Location: Penang, Malaysia

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