Spurred Butterfly Pea
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Spurred Butterfly Pea
P Naturalized Photo: Anne Thingnam
Common name: Spurred Butterfly Pea, Large Butterfly Pea, Climbing centrosema, Centro • Malayalam: Kattupayar • Sanskrit: मुद्गपर्णि Mudgaparni
Botanical name: Centrosema molle    Family: Fabaceae (Pea family)
Synonyms: Centrosema pubescens sensu auct., non Benth.

Spurred Butterfly Pea is a perennial twining herb, sometimes forming mats. Leaves are 3-foliolate, leaflets up to 6.5 cm long, elliptic or oblong-lanceshaped, more or less velvety on both surfaces; leaf-stalk 1-5.5 cm long. Inflorescences several-flowered, in leaf-axils; flower-cluster-stalk 2.5-5.5 cm long. Standard petal is up to 4 × 3.5 cm, mauve-purple with a white or yellowish central band, often flanked by darker purple lines, velvet-hairy outside, with a short spur outside just above the claw. Pods are linear, 5-17 cm long with 2 raised ribs along the edges of the valves, velvety when young, becoming hairless. Spurred Butterfly Pea is native to Central America, cultivated and now naturalized widely in India.

Identification credit: Prashant Awale Photographed in Payyannur, Kerala.

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