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Clitoria laurifolia is often confused with:
Centrosema virginianum Centrosema virginianum
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Cleome houtteana Cleome
Canna Flower
Smilax bona-nox

Clitoria laurifolia

Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • Clitoria cajanifolia
Phonetic Spelling
klih-TOH-ree-uh lo-re-FOH-lee-uh
Description

Butterfly pea is a tropical perennial shrub with deep woody roots in the pea family. Widely grown as a green manure and cover crop in rubber and coffee plantations, and to control erosion. It is sometimes cultivated for cattle fodder. This plant has escaped cultivation and can be found in the wild in its native habitat.

It needs tropical temperatures, humidity and rainfall around 70 inches per year.  This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria that enable them to fix nitrogen in the soil.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#heat tolerant#weedy#legume#cover plant#fantz#humidity tolerant#tropical feel
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#heat tolerant#weedy#legume#cover plant#fantz#humidity tolerant#tropical feel
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Clitoria
    Species:
    laurifolia
    Family:
    Fabaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    In Indonesia, the leaves are used to cure pimples.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    South America
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Perennial
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Fruit Type:
    Legume
    Fruit Description:
    Legume brown or light brown, oval and sticky
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Shape:
    Cup
    Flower Petals:
    2-3 rays/petals
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    2 petaled pea-shape flowers are 1-2 inches long and appear solitary or in clusters of 2-6 in leaf axils. They are mostly white with purple markings inside of the lower petal.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Oblong
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are trifoliolate and 2-4 inches long. Leaflets are oval and 1-2 inches long and 3/4 inch wide. Undersides have a few hairs.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    Green stem with hairs. Can become woody with age.
  • Landscape:
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Heat
    Humidity
    Problems:
    Weedy