Butterfly Pea (Clitoria ternatea)

Butterfly Pea (Clitoria ternatea)

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Butterfly Pea is an perennial or annual creeping vine with a shrubby habitat. Once established, this plant is incredibly easy to grow and requires little attention aside from helping to train it up a trellis.  When in bloom, the Butterfly Pea is covered in bright blue blossoms. The blue flowers are used to make tea and as a natural dye for food and even hair products. When used in liquid form, the color morphs depending on the ph.  For example, the blue-purple color changes to bright pink when lemon or seltzer water is added and the acidity is raised. Very cool!

As a legume, its roots form a symbiotic association with soil bacteria known as rhizobia, which transform atmospheric N2 into a plant-usable form (a process called nitrogen fixing), therefore, this plant is also used to improve soil quality through the decomposition of nitrogen rich plant material. Butterfly Pea is well-known for it's traditional healing properties in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine. 

Plant Type
Perennial Herb (can also be grown as an Annual)

Harvest Season
Year-Round

Mature Size
Up to 15 ft. tall and 6 feet wide

Soil & Moisture
Moist, well-draining soil.  Will grow well in virtually any time type of soil as long as it is well draining!

Light Requirements
Full Sun, Part Shade

Self-Fertile
Yes

Growth Rate
Very Fast

Zone Hardiness
Outdoors 9-11 with frost protection; Patio/Greenhouse 4+

Propagation

How to Grow Butterfly Pea

Plant Type: Perennial Herb (can also be grown as an Annual)

Harvest Season: Year-round

Mature Size: Spread 3-6 ft. height 10-15 ft.

Soil & Moisture: Moist, well-draining soil.  Will grow well in virtually any time type of soil as long as it is well draining!

Exposure: Full Sun, Light Shade

Zone Hardiness: 10-11 we grow it in Zone 9 with frost protection. Can also be grown as an Annual in colder zones!

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