Centrosema virginianum

Centrosema virginianum (L.) Benth.

Common Names: Butterfly Pea

Family: Fabaceae

Habit: Centrosema virginianum grows as a trailing or climbing perennial vine to 2 meters in length.  The trifoliate leaves are arranged alternately and are up to 12 cm in length.  The leaflets are linear, to 8 cm in length, with an acute leaf apex and entire margin. C. virginianum is distinguished from C. angustifolium by having ovate vs. linear leaflets.

The complete, perfect, zygomorphic flowers are solitary arising from leaf axils and are subtended by 2 bracts.  The calyx has 5 partially fused green sepals.  The corolla has 5 pink/purple petals.  The upper 2 petals are fused into a keel and the lower sepal is enlarged as a landing. There are 10 diadelphous stamens (9 fused and a single free).  The ovary is superior and has a single locule.  The fruit is a legume at maturity.

Habitat: Centrosema virginianum grows in Human Altered environments such as abandoned fields and along the edges of Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formation-Forest/Shrublands (coppice).

Distribution: Centrosema virginianum occurs in all island groupings of the Lucayan Archipelago as well as the southern United States, Caribbean region  Central America and northern South America.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Centrosema virginianum has no known medicinal usage in the Lucayan Archipelago.