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Centrosema virginianum (Spurred butterfly pea)
Fabre, Carl

Centrosema virginianum

Centrosema virginianum (L.) Benth.

Spurred Butterfly Pea, Butterfly Pea

Fabaceae (Pea Family)

Synonym(s): Bradburya virginiana, Centrosema virginianum var. ellipticum

USDA Symbol: CEVI2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), PR (N), VI (N)

Trailing or twining vine with violet flowers, single or in clusters of 2-4 in the axils of compound leaves.

The flowers of this delicate showy vine are recognized by their "upside-down" position. Sand Butterfly-pea (C. arenicola) has ovate leaflets indented at the base; Florida Butterfly-pea (C. floridana), with oval to lanceolate leaflets up to 3" (7.5 cm) long, occurs in the pinewoods of Florida.


From the Image Gallery

16 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Vine
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Fruit Type: Legume
Size Notes: Climber, twining stems up to about 12 feet long. Sprawls on ground when no support is available.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Pink , Blue , Purple
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov


USA: AL , AR , DE , FL , GA , IL , KY , LA , MD , MO , MS , NC , NJ , OK , SC , TN , TX , VA
Native Distribution: New Jersey south to Florida; west to Texas; north to Arkansas.
Native Habitat: Acid soils, sandy woodlands, and fields.

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry , Moist


Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Butterflies
Nectar Source: yes

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Fredericksburg Nature Center - Fredericksburg, TX
Brackenridge Field Laboratory - Austin, TX
Stengl Biological Research Station - Smithville, TX
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE

Wildflower Center Seed Bank

LBJWC-1114 Collected 2007-09-17 in Harrison County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

1 collection(s) available in the Wildflower Center Seed Bank


Bibref 328 - Wildflowers of Texas (2003) Ajilvsgi, Geyata.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 57 - Atlas of Florida Plants (2020) Institute for Systematic Botany

Additional resources

USDA: Find Centrosema virginianum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Centrosema virginianum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Centrosema virginianum


Record Modified: 2022-10-17
Research By: TWC Staff

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