Butterfly Pea

Butterfly Pea


(Clitoria ternatea)

This tropical leguminous vine from equatorial Southeast Asia produces the most beautiful sapphire blooms. Here in Utah it is grown as an annual, but in warmer climates it will perennialize. It is used throughout Southeast Asia to color foods, from sticky rice desserts to herbal teas. It is a great addition to cocktails that include a spritz of lime or lemon; the addition of acid will transform the beverage from a deep peacock blue to an electric purple.

Plants thrive in the heat, so make sure to plant your seeds when soils are very warm, or start indoors on a heated mat. It can help to scarify the seeds by nicking the seed coat with a razor blade, or rubbing lightly breaking the seed coat with some sand paper. We’ve had luck without scarifying, it just takes the seeds a little more time to imbibe.

It’s dry enough where we live that you can allow the flowers to dry on the vine, and collect them as they mature. In humid areas you may want to harvest fresh flowers and put them in a dehydrator on a low setting. Flowers can also be used fresh as an eye-popping edible garnish.

Packet: 20 seeds

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