Clitoria mariana (known by the common names Butterfly Pea or Atlantic Pigeon Wings), is a perennial forb native to the eastern and southwestern United States, and Asia, which produces purple flowers in summer.
The ascending, sometimes twining stem of Clitoria mariana is 45 to 60 centimeters long. The leaves are pinnately trifoliate, borne on petioles with stipules. The thin, smooth or slightly hairy leaflets are ovate, 2.5 to 11 centimeters long, and 1.5 to 5 centimeters wide. The flowers are axillary, usually solitary. The calyx is tubular. The corolla of the flower is about 5 centimeters long, it's wings and keel much shorter than the standard. The fruit is a linear oblong pod, 25 millimeters long and 5 millimeters wide.
Distribution and habitat
Clitoria mariana is widely distributed throughout the eastern and southwestern United States, although local distribution may be spotty. It has been recorded in Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Washington, D.C., Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin, and West Virginia. It is listed as an endangered species by the states of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The range of Clitoria mariana also includes parts of India, Bhutan, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Chinese provinces of Guangxi, and Yunnan. In Virginia, it grows in habitats such as dry open forests, shale barrens, and rocky or sandy woodlands. The presence of this species is dependent on appropriate habitat, and it may be eliminated from an area by development, changes in land use, or competition with invasive species.
- "Clitoria mariana L. - The Plant List". Retrieved February 12, 2014. The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet; http://www.theplantlist.org/
- "Plants Profile for Clitoria mariana (Atlantic pigeonwings)". Retrieved February 12, 2014. USDA, NRCS. 2014. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.
- "Clitoria mariana in Flora of China @ efloras.org". Retrieved February 12, 2014. 'eFloras (2008). Published on the Internet (http://www.efloras.org). Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
- Britton, Nathaniel Lord & Brown, Addison (1887). An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British possessions: from Newfoundland to the parallel of the southern boundary of Virginia, and from the Atlantic Ocean westward to the 102d meridian, Volume 2, p. 333. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York.
- "Digital Atlas of the Virginia Flora | Clitoria mariana L. var. mariana". Retrieved February 12, 2014. Virginia Botanical Associates. (2014). Digital Atlas of the Virginia Flora (http://www.vaplantatlas.org). c/o Virginia Botanical Associates, Blacksburg.