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Clitoria mariana - L.

Common Name Atlantic Pigeonwings, Butterfly Pea
Family Leguminosae
USDA hardiness 6-9
Known Hazards Parts of the plant are poisonous. No further information given.
Habitats Dry open forests, shale barrens, and rocky or sandy woodlands.
Range The plant is native to the eastern, southern, and central United States west to New Mexico and Arizona. It is also found in Asia, in: Bhutan, India, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, and southern China (Guangxi, Yunnan)
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Clitoria mariana Atlantic Pigeonwings, Butterfly Pea

Clitoria mariana Atlantic Pigeonwings, Butterfly Pea
Fritzflohrreynolds wikimedia.org


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Clitoria mariana is a PERENNIAL CLIMBER growing to 0.8 m (2ft 7in) by 0.8 m (2ft 7in) at a medium rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 7.
It can fix Nitrogen.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: neutral soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


C. mariana var. mariana. C. marina L. [Spelling variant]. Martiusia mariana (L.) Small. Nauchea mariana (L.) Descourt. Ternatea mariana (L.) Kuntze. Vexillaria mariana (L.) Raf. Vexillaria mariana (L.) Eaton.

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

None Known

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

The roots and seeds have been used medicinally, including as an aphrodisiac according to the ancient but unscientific doctrine of signatures.' but we have not been able to confirm this - Missouriplants.com

References   More on Medicinal Uses

The Bookshop: Edible Plant Books

Our Latest books on Perennial Plants For Food Forests and Permaculture Gardens in paperback or digital formats.

Food Forest Plants for Hotter Conditions: 250+ Plants For Tropical Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.
Edible Tropical Plants

Food Forest Plants for Hotter Conditions: 250+ Plants For Tropical Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.

Plants for Your Food Forest: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.
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PFAF have eight books available in paperback and digital media.
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Other Uses

Nitrogen fixer.

Special Uses

Food Forest  Nitrogen Fixer

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

A temperate perennial forb. Stems are erect to reclining or trailing, to 1.2m, glabrous to sparsely pubescent with short, fine, curved hairs. It is a twining vine and not a climbing vine so is often found growing along the ground. In southern China it grows in forests between 100-2,000m above sea level. It grows in hardiness zones 6-9. Light Requirement: Sun, Part Shade. Preferred soil: Dry and Sandy. Bloom Color: Pink , Blue. Bloom Time: Jun to Aug. For polyculture design as well as the above-ground architecture (form - tree, shrub etc. and size shown above) information on the habit and root pattern is also useful and given here if available. Herbaceous. Growth habit is a single or multiple shooting vine from a crown [1-2].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees,Edible Shrubs, Woodland Gardening, and Temperate Food Forest Plants. Our new book is Food Forest Plants For Hotter Conditions (Tropical and Sub-Tropical).

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Plant Propagation


Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Butterfly pea, Atlantic pigeon wings, Biec tim, Taw-peik-san, Taw-pesein,

NORTHERN AMERICA: United States, Indiana (south), New Jersey, Ohio (south), Pennsylvania (southeast), Illinois (south), Kansas (Cherokee Co.), Missouri, Oklahoma, Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, District of Columbia, Texas, Arizona, Mexico, Chihuahua, Nuevo León, Sonora,

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

None Known

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Clitoria ternateaButterfly peaClimber3.0 10-11 FLMHNDM303

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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Botanical References

Links / References

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