Butterfly Pea – Native Plant of the Day 07/13/2017
Photo from 7/12/2007. Location: Grundy County, TN.
More photos / info at the Clitoria mariana detail page.
Outside of a very few states, Clitoria mariana (Butterfly Pea) and Centrosema virginianum (Spurred Butterfly Pea) are the only species in their respective genera most of in the United States. The Clitoria and Centrosema genera share a characteristic that is rare in Fabaceae – a twist in the pedicel turns the flower “upside down” – the largest petal – the “standard” is below the other petals (keel and wings) rather than above them as is the case with the rest of the family. These two species appear quite similar, so any confusion in the U.S. with identification is usually between these two species. There are a couple of key characteristics that can help.
The Butterfly Pea detail page has been revised with additional photos and information (08/30/2013.) The scientific name of this native species is Clitoria mariana. It is also known by the common name Atlantic Pigeonwings. Photo below was taken in Grundy County, TN on July 12, 2007. This species was originally added to the USWildflowers database in 2009.