Centrosema virginianum (L.) Benth. - Spurred Butterfly Pea

Centrosema virginianum plant

Family - Fabaceae




Centrosema virginianum leaves

Centrosema virginianum stipulesStipules.




Centrosema virginianum calyxCalyx.

Centrosema virginianum flower

Flowering - May - September.

Habitat - Open woods, clearings, thickets, hammocks, sandhills, coastal swales.

Origin - Native to North America.

Other information - This attractive species can be throughout much of Alabama but is less common in the northwest corner of the state. This is an easy species to identify becasue of its big purple flowers and vining habit. Another species, Clitoria mariana L., is similar but the latter has a tubular calyx that is much different from that of Centrosema.
The genus name Centrosema derives from the Greek "centr(o)" meaning "a point, spur" and "semae" meaning "a standard" referring to the spur at the base of the standard petal.
The species epithet virginianum means "Virginian."

Alabama Distribution:

Centrosema virginianum map

Photographs taken off Lee Rd 10, Lee County, AL., 8-24-04, and off Hickory Rd, near Lake Martin, AL., 8-12-05.

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