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Centrosema (Butterfly Pea)

Centrosema is genus of 40-50 species found all over the warm parts of the world, but the species that we sell, C. virginianum is a north american native vine found in the eastern US including the Atlantic coast, Gulf coast, and Mississippi valley in sandy plains.

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More Information About Centrosema

Centrosema is known for its beautiful, large, open, pea-like flowers that look a lot like hmm... let's just say, Georgia O'Keefe would be proud. The vine itself is not particularly long and Centrosema rarely exceeds 7'. In its native habitat, Centrosema creeps along the ground and twines around low growing brush to raise itself off the ground a little bit. In the garden, Centrosema can be planted on a small trellis to really show off the flowers or it can be grown as a groundcover vine.

If you like blue, then Centrosema is for you as the large prominent flowers are a pale lavender blue color that peak in the late summer and fall. And if you like butterflies in your garden, then Centrosema should be an important part of your garden as the plants are a larval food source for butterflies (skippers and cloudywings).

In its native habitat, Centrosema prefers to grow in hot, humid, sandy soil environments but it is otherwise agnostic about soil conditions. Although this is a plant that can be found in coastal areas, Centrosema is not particularly salt tolerant. Once established, it is drought tolerant though.