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Clitoria ternatea (Pale Blue)

Family Name: Fabaceae (Leguminosae)
Full Sun Moderate Water Butterfly Host Plant Ornamental Flowers Climber, Vine and Liana


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Infraspecific Epithet
Name Status (botanical)

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Climber, Vine & Liana
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Irregular, Leggy


Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a slender, climbing legume with soft hairs on 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 solitary, pale blue to light purple, pea-shaped.
Fruits Fruits are seedpod, flattened, oblong shaped, splits open to release 8 - 10 seeds. 
Habitat Found in disturbed areas, riverine vegetation and grasslands.
Cultivation Easy to grow. Sow seeds in a well-drained soil, with moderate watering. Requires support to assist plant in climbing.
Etymology The genus Clitoria means clitoris, which refers to the flower shape. The specific epithet ternatea means from Ternate, Maluku Islands, Indonesia. 
Ethnobotanical Uses Agriculture - Forestry ( Plant can be used as leguminous mulch and green manure.)

Landscaping Features

Landscaping Plant is grown on supports, such as trellis or pergola with numerous purple to pale blue flowers all-year round. 
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils
Landscape Uses Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens, Trellis / Arbour / Pergola, Skyrise / Balcony, Container Planting

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 Moderate
Potential Problems No serious insect or disease problems. Leaf-eating caterpillars and whiteflies may appear. 
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
Foliar Type Compound
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

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Blue, Purple
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
Flowering Habit Polycarpic

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Black, Brown
Mature Fruit Texture(s) Papery
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Dehiscent Dry Fruit
Mature Seed Colour(s) Black, Brown
Mature Seed Texture(s) Glossy / Shiny
Seed Description Seeds are usually 8 to 11 in a pod, olive brown to almost black, shiny. 
Seed Quantity Per Fruit Moderate (6-10)

Image Repository



Master ID 78
Species ID 1374
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: 19 August 2021.