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A picture of a Blue Butterfly Pea

Blue Butterfly Pea

Clitoria ternatea

Also known as

Asian Pigeonwings, Blue Pea, Bluebell, Darwin-Pea, Mussel-Shell Creeper, Cordofan-Pea, Butterfly pea, Blue pea, Blue vine

Starr 070402-6256 Clitoria ternatea by Forest & Kim Starr (CC BY 3.0)

Full Sun
Easy care
Moderate watering


RHS hardiness


Minimum temperature

Expected size









  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has a mild fragrance

More images of Blue Butterfly Pea

A blue Clitoria ternatea flower
A close up of a blue flower and green leaves of a Clitoria ternatea plant in the wild
A blue flower on a Clitoria ternatea plant
A photo of Blue Butterfly Pea

Blue Butterfly Pea Overview

Clitoria ternatea is a herbaceous perennial vine or creeper in the pea family, Fabaceae (Fabaceae) with striking medium-sized bold deep blue flowers. The flowers are produced solitarily and may have yellow markings, up to around 4cm in length. The flowers lead onto fruits measuring between 5-7cm in length, eventually forming long, flat seed pods containing between 6-10 seeds. It produces pointed oval-shaped foliage. Grown as an ornamental plant, for edible uses and medicinal purposes. Blue tea can be made from the flowers, it turns pink when lemon juice is added!

Common problems with Blue Butterfly Pea

Caterpillars and grasshoppers might be found eating plant foliage. Susceptible to fungal diseases if conditions are too wet.

How to harvest Blue Butterfly Pea

Flowers may be picked to add color and whimsy to salads or drinks. Allow pods to dry and mature on the plant. Break pods open to collect seeds and store it dry.

How to propagate Blue Butterfly Pea


Seeds are sown in a well-prepared seed bed at a depth of 1.5 to 4 cm and lightly covered.


Take cuttings and plant in moist sand or vermiculite.

Special features of Blue Butterfly Pea

Attracts birds

Indoor plant

Perfect indoor plant in pots and containers under direct light.

Pot plant

Wonderful bold appearance in hanging baskets, pots and containers.

Attracts useful insects

Bees and butterflies

Hedge plant

Grown on a support such as a trellis. Weave through a hedge.

Drought resistant

It can survive a 5-6 month drought in the drier tropics.

Attractive flowers

Other uses of Blue Butterfly Pea

Conservatory, vegetable

Natural dye