Wildflowers of the United States

Home Journal Family Index - All States Photo Albums News About Privacy

Spurred Butterfly Pea, Climbing Butterfly Pea, Wild Blue Vine, Virginia Centro, Butterflypea - Centrosema virginianum


Family: Fabaceae - Pea family Genus Common Name: Butterfly Pea Native Status: NativeDicot Perennial Vine Herb
Centrosema virginianum - Spurred Butterfly Pea, Climbing Butterfly Pea, Wild Blue Vine, Virginia Centro, Butterflypea. There are about 40 species of Centrosema worldwide; 3 are found in the continental United States. 2 of those are found only in Florida (a native species, C. arenicola, and an introduced species, C. sagittatum.) There are also 2 additional Centrosema species found in Puerto Rico; 1 of those is also in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Centrosema virginianum, Spurred Butterfly Pea, is found in 18 states, Puerto Rico, and the USVI.

It is primarily a plant of the southeastern U.S., but is found as far north as Illinois and New Jersey. It is Endangered in New Jersey. Since this is the only Centrosema species in most of its range, and it is similar to Clitoria mariana, is it most confused with that species. These plants share the trait of having the standard lower than the other petals; most legumes have the standard held above the other petals.

Found in:
AL, AR, DE, FL, GA, IL, KY, LA, MD, MO, MS, NC, NJ, OK, SC, TN, TX, VA

Leave comments on Centrosema virginianum at this link.
Centrosema virginianum

Distribution of Centrosema virginianum in the United States and Canada:
USDA Plants Distribution Map temporarily unavailable.
Blue=Native; Grey=Introduced

Map from USDA Plants Database:
USDA, NRCS. 2017. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 24 Jun 2017). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.

Search Our Database: Enter any portion of the Scientific, Common Name, or both.
Scientific name:
Common name:

Example: Enter "lob" in the common name field and you'll get all our species that have "lobelia" in the common name, as well as "sharp-lobed hepatica".

Do a general Google search of the entire site:



Follow on Twitter
Follow USWildflowers on Twitter


Site: Hamilton County, TN Date: 2013-August-17Photographer: Gerald C. Williamson
Nikon D7000
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
here are about 40 species of Centrosema worldwide; 3 are found in the continental United States. 2 of those are found only in Florida (a native species, C. arenicola, and an introduced species, C. sagittatum.) There are also 2 additional Centrosema species found in Puerto Rico; 1 of those is also in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Centrosema virginianum, Spurred Butterfly Pea, is found in 18 states, Puerto Rico, and the USVI.

It is primarily a plant of the southeastern U.S., but is found as far north as Illinois and New Jersey. It is Endangered in New Jersey. Since this is the only Centrosema species in most of its range, and it is similar to Clitoria mariana, is it most confused with that species. These plants share the trait of having the standard lower than the other petals; most legumes have the standard held above the other petals.

Found in: AL, AR, DE, FL, GA, IL, KY, LA, MD, MO, MS, NC, NJ, OK, SC, TN, TX, VA
Centrosema virginianum

Site: Hamilton County, TN Date: 2013-August-17Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
The leaves are trifoliate, rising from a thin, climbing vine which twists around its host plant, in this case a small oak. The leaflets are up to about 2 inches long. The vine may be up to 2 or 3 feet long. There are one to four axillary flowers in each cluster.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Centrosema virginianum

Site: Hamilton County, TN Date: 2013-August-17Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
The seedpods are elongated and hairy.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Centrosema virginianum

References used for identification and information:

Commercial / Cookie Notice

Looking for Wildflowers for a specific state? Check here:



All content except USDA Plants Database map Copyright Gerald C. Williamson 2017
Photographs Copyright owned by the named photographer