Fine Art

Clitoria mariana

Clitoria mariana (*)

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Rosids
Cladus: Eurosids I
Ordo: Fabales

Familia: Fabaceae
Subfamilia: Faboideae
Tribus: Phaseoleae
Subtribus: Clitoriinae
Genus: Clitoria
Subgenus: C. subg. Neurocarpum
Sectio: C. sect. Mexicana
Species: Clitoria mariana
Varietates: C. m. var. orientalis – C. m. var. pubescentia

Clitoria mariana L. (1753)

Martiusia mariana (L.) Small, Man. S.E. Fl. 722 (1933).
Nauchea mariana (L.) Descourt., Mém. Soc. Linn. Paris 4: 9 (1826).
Ternatea mariana (L.) Kuntze, Revis. Gen. Pl. 1: 210 (1891).
Vexillaria mariana (L.) Eaton, Man. Bot. 83 (1817).

Clitoria mariana f. pedunculata Fantz, Monograph of the genus Clitoria (Leguminosae: Glycineae). 743 (1977), nom. inval.
Clitoria mariana f. pubescentia Fantz, Monograph of the genus Clitoria (Leguminosae: Glycineae). 746 (1977), nom. inval.
Clitoria mariana var. orientalis Fantz, Sida 15(1): 2–4 (1992).
Clitoria mariana var. pubescentia Fantz, Sida 16(4): 727–728 (1995).


Clitoria mariana Moc. & Sessé ex DC. (1825) = Cologania angustifolia Kunth; Mim. 209, t. 58 (1823)


Linnaeus, C. 1753. Species Plantarum. Tomus II: 753. Reference page.

Additional references

Werier, D. 2017. Catalogue of the Vascular Plants of New York State. Memoirs of the Torrey Botanical Club 27: 1–542. JSTOR Reference page.
Villaseñor, J.L. 2016. Checklist of the native vascular plants of Mexico. Revista Mexicana de Biodiversidad 87: 559–902. DOI: 10.1016/j.rmb.2016.06.017 Online PDF Reference page.


Govaerts, R. et al. 2021. Clitoria mariana in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2021 May 13. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2021. Clitoria mariana. Published online. Accessed: May 13 2021. 2021. Clitoria mariana. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2021 May 13.
Hassler, M. 2021. Clitoria mariana. World Plants: Synonymic Checklists of the Vascular Plants of the World In: Roskovh, Y., Abucay, L., Orrell, T., Nicolson, D., Bailly, N., Kirk, P., Bourgoin, T., DeWalt, R.E., Decock, W., De Wever, A., Nieukerken, E. van, Zarucchi, J. & Penev, L., eds. 2021. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2021 May 13. Reference page.
Hassler, M. 2021. World Plants. Synonymic Checklist and Distribution of the World Flora. . Clitoria mariana. Accessed: 13 May 2021.
USDA, ARS, Germplasm Resources Information Network. Clitoria mariana in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Accessed: 07-Oct-06.

Vernacular names
English: Butterfly Pea, Pigeon Wing

Clitoria mariana (known by the common names butterfly pea or Atlantic pigeon wings), is a perennial herbaceous plant.


The plant is native to the eastern, southern, and central United States west to New Mexico and Arizona.[2] It is also found in Asia, in: Bhutan, India, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, and southern China (Guangxi, Yunnan) [3]

In the United States 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.
Botanical illustration of Clitoria mariana (1913)
Watercolor of Clitoria mariana by Mary Vaux Walcott (1934, Smithsonian American Art Museum collection).

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.

It produces purple flowers in summer. The flowers are axillary, usually solitary, and resupinate. The calyx is tubular. The corolla of the flower is about 5 centimeters long, its wings and keel much shorter than the standard.

The fruit is a linear oblong pod, 25 millimeters long and 5 millimeters wide.[3][4]

It is a larval host to the long-tailed skipper.[5]

It is listed as an endangered species by the states of New Jersey and Pennsylvania.[2] The range of Clitoria mariana also includes parts of India, Bhutan, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Chinese provinces of Guangxi, and Yunnan.[3] In Virginia, it grows in habitats such as dry open forests, shale barrens, and rocky or sandy woodlands.[6] 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;
"Plants Profile for Clitoria mariana (Atlantic pigeonwings)". Retrieved February 12, 2014. USDA, NRCS. 2014. The PLANTS Database ([permanent dead link]. National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.
"Clitoria mariana in Flora of China @". Retrieved February 12, 2014. 'eFloras (2008). Published on the Internet ([permanent dead link]. 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.
The Xerces Society (2016), Gardening for Butterflies: How You Can Attract and Protect Beautiful, Beneficial Insects, Timber Press.
"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 ([permanent dead link]. c/o Virginia Botanical Associates, Blacksburg.

Plants, Fine Art Prints

Plants Images

Biology Encyclopedia

Retrieved from ""
All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

Home - Hellenica World