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Perennials > Clitoria > Clitoria fragrans > Clitoria fragrans

Clitoria fragrans

Scrub Pigeon-wing, Sweet-scented Pigeon-wing

Origin:  Native to central Florida.
Martiusia fragrans
USDA Hardiness Zone
5a - 9b
Canadian Hardiness Zone
6 - 8
RHS Hardiness Zone
H7 - H4
Temperature (°C)
(-28.8) - (-3.8)
Temperature (°F)
(-25) - 25
15-100 cm
60-90 cm
Description and Growing Information
Flowering Period
General Description
Perennial herb 15 - 50 cm tall, with erect, purplish, waxy stems.
The thick horizontal root, which may grow to more than 2 m long, bears one to several purplish, glaucous, wiry, very straight stems.
ID Characteristic
The common name of this species refers to the petals of the chasmogamous flowers, which resemble wings (bird-like appearance).
Bark/Stem Description
Stems one to several from a woody, thickened base, erect, 1 - 2 mm thick, purplish, slightly glaucous, usually unbranched, weakly ziz-zag above, nearly straight below. Taproot 0.5-2 m long.
Leaf Description
Leaves alternate, with 3 leathery leaflets, oblong, leaflet tip rounded , upper surface dark green with conspicuous veins, lower surface pale green and waxy.
Flower Description
Showy, fragrant; 2 short wing petals curve forward, almost covering 2 keel petals; banner petal almost 5 cm long, pink to lavender-blue with purplish veins and large white spot; flowers twisted on their stalks so that the banner petal is lowest. Clitoria fragrans have chasmogamous (insect pollinating) and cleistogamous (self-pollinating) flowers. The chasmogamous flowers usually occur in pairs, each corolla consisting of one 3.5 to 5 cm-long.
Fruit Description
The seed pod (legume) is 5 to 8 cm long and extends from the calyx, waxy, flattened, depressed between the seeds.
Texture Description
This species can be confused with C. mariana but can be easily distinguished as C. fragrans has purplish, glaucous stems, non-twining habit, narrow leaflets, smaller flowers, and long-stipulate fruit. All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested.
Notable Specimens
Bok Tower Gardens, Lake Wales, Florida, United States of America.
Clitoria fragrans has two kinds of flowers; the colorful chasmogamous flowers are pollinated by insects, while cleistogamous flowers are self-pollinating. Cross-fertilization of cleistogamous flowers is prevented, since the flowers do not open. ). Chasmogamous flowers bloom from May to June. Cleistogamous flowers occur later in the summer through late September.