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Clitoria mariana (Atlantic pigeonwings)
Bloodworth, Stefan

Clitoria mariana

Clitoria mariana L.

Atlantic Pigeonwings, Butterfly Pea

Fabaceae (Pea Family)

Synonym(s): Martiusia mariana

USDA Symbol: CLMA4

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Twining vine, occasionally erect, with large, showy, lavender-pink, pea-like flowers, usually solitary but occasionally up to 3, in the axils of compound leaves.

This plant is often confused with Spurred Butterfly Pea (Centrosema virginianum), which has upside-down flowers, the banner pointing downward, while that of Clitoria stands erect.


From the Image Gallery

7 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Vine
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Fruit Type: Legume
Size Notes: 3-4'

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Pink , Blue
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug


USA: AL , AR , AZ , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MD , MO , MS , NC , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , SC , TN , TX , VA , WV
Native Distribution: New York south to Florida; west to Texas and beyond; north to Missouri and Iowa.
Native Habitat: Dry soil, open woods, and thickets.

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Sandy


Attracts: Birds

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

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

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2013-10-30
Research By: TWC Staff

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