Butterfly Pea
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Butterfly Pea
ntroduced elliptic Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Butterfly Pea • Assamese: অপৰাজিতা Aparajita • Hindi: अपराजिता Aparajita • Kannada: ಸಟ್ಟಗ Sattaga, ಶಂಖಪುಷ್ಪ Shankha puṣhpa, ಶಂಖಪುಷ್ಪಿ Shankha puṣhpi, ಗಿರಿಕನ್ನೆ Girikanne, ಗಿರಿಕರ್ಣಿಕೆ Girikarnike, ಕಂಠಿ Kaṇṭhi • Manipuri: ꯑꯄꯔꯥꯖꯤꯇꯥ Aparajita • Tamil: சங்கு கன்னிக்கொடி Kannikkodi • Malayalam: സന്ഗ പുശ്പമ Sangu pushpam • Marathi: गोकर्ण Gokurna Shankha Pushpa शंख पुष्प • Konkani: Shankha Pushpa शंख पुष्प • Telugu: సఖా పుశ్పమ్ sakha pushpam • Nepali: अपराजिता Aparaajitaa, शंखपुष्पी Shankhapushpee, गोकर्ण Gokarna
Botanical name: Clitoria ternatea    Family: Fabaceae (pea family)

This wonderful twining plant generously bears quite large flowers (about 2" across) which are a beautiful shade of vivid cobalt blue with a white throat. The flowers are presented upside down - the "keel" petal appears on the top rather than the underside. The butterfly pea is a beautiful vine that can climb to 9 feet in a hot summer. The flowers are produced in late summer, deep blue with a yellow to white pattern in the center of the lower petal. A member of the pea family, elongated peas are produced and seeds can be collected for sowing the following year. The botanical name comes from the resemblance to intimate parts of the human anatomy. Butterfly pea is native to Africa and SE Asia, widely cultivated in India, South America and Australia.

Identification credit: Radhika Vathsan Photographed in cultivation.

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