Clitoria ternatea

Clitoria ternatea L.

Common Names: Blue Pea, Butterfly Pea

Family: Fabaceae

Habit: Clitoria ternatea grows as a climbing or trailing vine becoming woody with age to 10 meters in length, sparsely pubescent throughout. The pinnately compound leaves are arranged alternately with 5-7 leaflets.  The leaflets are to 5 cm in length, ovate to elliptic, with a round apex and base.

The complete, perfect, zygomorphic flowers are solitary in leaf axils.  The calyx has 5 fused green petals.  The corolla has 5 blue petals, the lower enlarged to form a banner and the upper 2 slightly fused to form the keel.  There are 10 diadelphous stamens.  The ovary is superior and has a single locule.  The fruit is a dry brown legume at maturity.

Habitat: Clitoria ternatea grows in Human Altered environments and is commonly grown as an ornamental climber.

Distribution: Clitoria ternatea is native to Africa but is now widespread in the tropics and subtropics worldwide.  In the Lucayan Archipelago it is found in the northern island groupings.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Clitoria ternatea is not known to be used medicinally in the Lucayan Archipelago. It has been used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat a variety of issues including stress, memory, depression, and convulsions.