3 Aug 2015

Flowering Plants of Kerala: Butterfly Pea

On In


Kingdom: Plantae
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta or Angiosperms – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicots
Subclass: Rosidae
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae → Papilionaceae (The Pea family)
Botanical name: Clitoria ternatea
Common Name: Butterfly Pea
Malayalam name: Sankhu Pushpam
Habit: Perennial Climber

Clitoria is so-called because it's flowers resemble the shape of the female reproductive organ. Blue and white varieties are found. Yellow markings can be found towards the center of the flower. I have only white one in my garden. The plant is widely used as an Ayurvedic medicine. According to the "Ayurvedic and Natural Home Remedies for a Healthy Living", the plant can cure cold, cough, fever, vomiting, piles and asthma. A decoction of the plant can be used to cure throat related infections. The roots are also used to treat mental disorders. They have the ability to improve memory. The plant is very effective in treating anxiety and depression related problems. The plant is also used in treating sexual disorders like infertility. And the list goes on.

butterfly pea
butterfly pea
butterfly pea
butterfly pea
butterfly pea
butterfly pea

The above pictures were taken with Nikon Coolpix. Please click on each picture to get the full view.
Location: My garden at Kottayam, Kerala

Further Reading:

Flowers of India

Medicinal Benefits of Clitoria ternatea


  1. I've heard about Clitoria ternatea by my Mom. Once she went to visit Kerala with entire family in 2013. At that time I missed that visit due to my exam paper so I couldn't go. She also shared about backwater of Kerala. Thanks for share!!

  2. Very pretty indeed. Thanks for sharing

  3. Have seen the blue variety. Good to know more about the flowering plant Anjana.

  4. Hi Anjana ,
    the clicks are beautiful and so is the flower .. the list of its uses is impressively long .
    And it actually looks like a butterfly !

  5. clitoria..super interesting name :) you have clicked the flower beautifully Anjana :)


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