Spurred Butterfly Pea
Centrosema virginianum (Linnaeus) Bentham
Fabaceae (Pea) Family

Plant is a trailing or climbing hairy perennial. Preferred habitat is roadsides, woods, disturbed lands and waste areas. Distribution is throughout the Escambia region.

Leaves are alternate; trifoliate; with leaflets egg-shaped to nearly lance-like and entire (having no teeth or lobes).

Flowers are in an axillary cluster; subtended by bracts; flower calyx is five lobed; five petals; blue or light purple to lavender; lower lip of flower is large and usually white at the mid-vein. Flowers occur in late spring and summer.

Fruit is a legume.

The name “spurred” comes from a long spur, or claw, at the back of the flower and attached to the flower standard rather than the flower itself.

The related C. mariana also has a large banner but the flower and keel point upward. Its large banner has a tinge of purple at the lower center. Spurred Butterfly Pea has a banner and keel that points downward.

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