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Clitoria ternatea Fantz var. pleniflora

Family Name: Fabaceae (Leguminosae)
Common Name: Double Butterfly Pea, Double Blue Pea Vine, Double Asian Pigeonwings
Full Sun Moderate Water Butterfly Host Plant Ornamental Flowers Climber, Vine and Liana Herbaceous Plant


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Infraspecific Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Climber, Vine & Liana, Herbaceous Plant
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Irregular, Leggy
Maximum Height 2 m to 5 m
Maximum Plant Spread / Crown Width 1.5 m


Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form A climbing legume with slender and twinning stems. .
Foliage Leaves are compound pinnate, alternately arranged along the stem, with 5 - 7 elliptic to ovate leaflets, measuring 2.5 - 5 cm long and 1.5 - 3.5 cm wide. Each leaflet is thinly papery. 
Flowers Flowers are large, deep blue, pea-shaped. Flowers are located on leaf axils. 
Fruits Fruits are Fruits are flat dehiscent pods. brown, linear to oblong.  Fruit splits open to release 6 - 10 black, oblong seeds.
Habitat Widely distributed throughout the tropics such as disturbed areas, riverine vegetation and grasslands. 
Cultivation It is easily grown by seeds. Let pods dry on plant, before collecting seeds for sowing. Fast-growing, but may be attacked by aphids, resulting in plant defoliation. Plant prefers full sun but can tolerate slight semi-shade. 
Etymology The genus Clitoria means clitoris, which refers to the flower shape. The specific epithet ternatea means from Ternate, Maluku Islands, Indonesia.  Variety pleniflora means multi-petals, in reference to the flowers. 
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts (Edible Flowers)
[Others]: Flowers are used as dye for colouring food such as Peranakan kueh and nasi kerabu. 

Landscaping Features

Landscaping Grown on trellis for attractive purplish-blue flowers with multiple petals. 
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Fertile Loamy Soils, Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils
Landscape Uses General, Vertical Greenery / Green Wall, Small Gardens, Trellis / Arbour / Pergola, Container Planting
Thematic Landscaping Naturalistic Garden
SGMP Treatment

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Caterpillar Food Plant
Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna)
Seed or Spore Dispersal Abiotic (Explosive Dehiscence)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Fast
Planting Distance From 0
Maintenance Requirements Moderate
Diseases Under local conditions, may be attacked by aphids, resulting in defoliation.
Propagation Method Seed


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Papery
Prominent Young Flush Colour(s) Green
Young Flush Texture(s) Papery
Foliar Modification Foliar Tendril, Stipule
Foliar Type Compound (Odd-Pinnate)
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Ovate, Elliptical)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Obtuse
Foliar Base Rounded / Obtuse
Typical Foliar Area Microphyll ( 2.25cm2 - 20.25 cm2 )

Non - Foliar and Storage

Stem Type & Modification Herbaceous
Root Type Underground (Fibrous Root)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Blue
Flower Texture(s) Smooth
Flower Grouping Solitary
Flower Location Axillary
Flower Symmetry Bilateral
Individual Flower Shape Papilionaceous / Pea-shaped
Flowering Period Free-Flowering
Flowering Opening Time Daytime
Flower Lifespan on Plant 1 Day
Flowering Habit Polycarpic

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Brown
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Dehiscent Dry Fruit
Fruit Type 2 Legume / Pod
Mature Seed Colour(s) Black
Seed Quantity Per Fruit Moderate (6-10)

Image Repository



Master ID 77
Species ID 1373
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 24 February 2022.