Centrosema virginianum

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Centrosema virginianum
Centrosema virginianum-Big Talbot Island.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Centrosema
Species: C. virginianum
Binomial name
Centrosema virginianum
(L.) Benth.

Centrosema virginianum is known by the common names of Spurred Butterfly Pea,[1]wild blue vine, blue bell, and wild pea.[2] C. virginianum is a member of the Fabaceae family, it is identified by its trailing and twining vine and showy flowers.[3] C. virginianum habitats are in sunny areas within pine lands, and coastal uplands.[3]


Centrosema virginianum is a perennial herbaceous vine [4] growing procumbently or twing to a height approaching two meters.[1][2] It has alternate pinnately divided leaves, 3 to 10 centimeters long. Leaflets are lanceolate or ovate, 1 to 4 cm long,[2] Stipules are often deciduous, and mostly setaceous.[2] There is a wide range of leaflet forms, from linear to ovate to oblong or lanceolate-oblong, acute or acuminate at the apex.[2] Flowering occurs in the summer [1][4]

Flowers of Centrosema virginianum, are highly specialized, with an inverted (resupinate) banner to accommodate pollinators (bees).[4] The inflorecence consists of one to four bisexual flowers on an axillary penducle; the calyx is deeply five-lobed, and the acute lobes are longer than the tube.[2] The corolla is purplish or lavender-blue to nearly white;[2] the fruit contains four to ten dark brown seeds.[2] The diversity of leaflet shapes and corolla size and color can lead to confusion with C. pubescens.[2]C. virginianum's roots are capable of nitrogen fixation.[5]


C. virginianum ranges more or less continuously from Uruguay and northern Argentina to the eastern United States and Bermuda in tropical and subtropical areas.[2][3] It is widely distributed throughout the West Indies and has become naturalized in tropical West Africa.[2]

See also[edit]

  • Clitoria, a vine with which Centrosema virginianum may be confused


  1. ^ a b c "NCNPS Native Plant Gallery". North Carolina Native Plant Society. Retrieved 12 February 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "CentrosemaVirginianum". Retrieved 18 April 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c "IRC-Natives for your Neighborhood". Retrieved 18 April 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c "Island and Mainland Pollination Ecology of Centrosema Virginianum and Opuntia Stricta". JSTOR 2260423. 
  5. ^ Benth., L. "Plants for the future". Retrieved 18 April 2012.