Clitoria aka Butterfly Pea Vine
clitoria aka butterfly pea vine
days to maturity: 60 days
plant spacing: 1-3 plants per square foot, trellised
sunlight requirements: 8-14 hours
look out for: thrips
harvest notes: harvest flowers daily
Clitoria, commonly known as “pea vine” or “butterfly pea”, is a tropical plant native to temperate areas of the world, including Southeast Asia and Madagascar, where the flowers are often used as a food dye or dipped in batter and deep-fried. Although the seed pod is not edible, we love growing clitoria in gardens and at the farm, allowing it to climb up any unused fence space and produce beautiful edible & medicinal bright blue flowers. Butterfly pea vine starts its growth slowly but then ramps up during the hottest months of the year, growing quickly and flowering daily. We harvest the flowers daily for sale to chefs and to dry for teas and we are amazed when we come back to one mature plant day after day and find it full of flowers; the amount of flowers one plant can produce is astounding. Leave a few flowers on your plant to get pollinated and make brown seed pods and you’ll have plenty of pea vine seeds for next season. If you don’t get around to harvesting all of your seed pods they will burst open at maturity and self seed easily. Butterfly pea vine is in the Fabaceae family and thusly can be used to fix nitrogen. In Southeast Asian countries communities have been brewing and drinking butterfly pea vine tea for centuries, and its just now becoming more popular in America. The traditional recipe is to brew the flowers along with lemongrass. The bright blue teas flavor is earthy and woody, similar to green tea, and is prized for being highly medicinal and containing compounds beneficial for healthy skin.
We also sell saved seed from this plant variety here!