Butterfly Peas

By William T. Hathaway

Butterfly Peas (Clitoria maiana and Centrosema virginianum)

Both Butterfly Peas are trailing and twining perennial, herbaceous vines. They usually flower in June-August; oftentimes, these two species may be growing in the same open woods and clearings. A close-up examination of the flowers readily reveals the difference between the two species. The relatively large flowers are often attractive and unusual, since they are borne on such small vines. Both species were once called “pigeonwings.”

Butterfly Peas are commonly found throughout Pittsylvania County, Virginia.