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Butterfly peas are short lived tropical perennials with striking blue flowers. They have a twining habit and prefer rich, moist, well-drained soils. They make attractive container plants in Virginia.

Latin Name

Clitoria ternatea



Also Known As

Asian Pigeonwings Blue Pea

Type of Plant

Tropical Tropical
Vines Vines


Summer Summer


Max height Max Height: 15'
Max spread Max Spread: 6'


  • Ornamental

  • Sunlight Exposure

    Full Sun Full Sun


    Native Range

    Tropical Asia


    George Washington received butterfly pea seeds from his grandson-in-law Thomas Law in 1799.

    Other Details

    Pollinator Pollinator
    Grown by Washington Grown by Washington

    Planted at Mount Vernon

    Planted at Mount Vernon Upper Garden

  • Upper Garden

  • Hardiness Zones

    11a 11b 12a 12b USDA basemap

    Average annual extreme minimum temperature 1976-2005

    map legend 11a 11b 12a 12b

    Bartlett Tree Expert Company has been working with Mount Vernon Estate since 2011 providing expert arboricultural care and GPS mapping for the estate’s historic trees, as well as support from their research facility.   Mount Vernon is proud to partner with Bartlett Tree Experts and appreciates their sponsorship of George Washington’s Mount Vernon Plant Finder App.

    Bring Washington's Garden Home

    Purchase our historic seeds, collected from plants grown at Mount Vernon and plant them in your own garden.

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