Delicate looking vine with the most astounding blue flowers. It is a fast-growing nonaggressive vine that may be root hardy in mild winters. If not, it provides ample seeds that can be planted in spring.
Butterfly Pea Vine or Blue Pea Vine, Clitoria ternatea, in the legume family, is native to Tropical Asia. In some parts of the world the flowers are used for dyes and cosmetics.
It can be grown on a trellis or small arbor in full sun with afternoon shade and well-draining soil. Likes water but is not overly thirsty.
I had been looking for the native Butterfly Pea Vine, Clitoria mariana, which has pale lavender-colored flowers and is the host plant for the Golden Banded Skipper, and Long-tailed Skipper. There is a similar looking pea vine, the Spurred Butterfly Pea, Centrosema virginianum, with one notable difference in that the position of the banner of the Spurred points downward.
Much to my surprise the skippers didn’t seem to know the difference between native and non-native and soon my Butterfly Pea Vine, C. ternatea, had all these small, folded flaps on the leaves. As the caterpillar outgrows its little tube-like structure which is held together with silken strands, it either moves on to another leaf section or chews another piece to fold over its little shelter.
Long-tailed Skipper are beautiful small butterflies with iridescent blue-green coloring on their bodies. The long tails are either brown or black. Enjoy these delightful pollinators in your garden and the beaturiful Biutterfly Pea Vine.