Centrosema virginianum (PROSEA)

From PlantUse English
Jump to: navigation, search
Logo PROSEA.png
Plant Resources of South-East Asia
Introduction
List of species


Centrosema virginianum (L.) Benth.


Family: Leguminosae - Papilionoideae

Synonyms

Clitoria virginiana L.

Vernacular names

  • Spurred butterfly pea (En).

Distribution

Widely distributed from the southern United States to Uruguay and Peru. Cultivated mainly in the United States, in subtropical Australia, and occasionally elsewhere.

Uses

Grown as a green manure and cover crop for erosion control and as a component of pastures. It also has some value as an ornamental.

Observations

Perennial, scandent herb with slender stems. Leaves alternate, trifoliolate; leaflets ovate-lanceolate, 2-7 cm × 1-3 cm. Inflorescence an axillary raceme, up to 6 cm long, 2-4-flowered; flower purplish to white, 2.5-4 cm long; calyx deeply 5-lobed, 8-10 mm long; standard suborbicular, 2-2.5 cm in diameter; stamens 10, monadelphous. Pod straight, 4-13 cm × 3-5 mm, 16-20-seeded. Seed 3-4 mm long, whitish. C. virginianum is mainly found in the semi-arid tropics and the subtropics, rarely in the humid tropics. Selections from the lowland tropics require high temperatures, growth being reduced when the night temperature falls below 16 °C. Some selections from tropical highlands or the subtropics survive light frost. It nodulates well with commercial centro ( Centrosema pubescens Benth.) Rhizobium . Cultivars have been developed in Australia as alternatives for siratro ( Macroptilium atropurpureum (DC.) Urban).

Selected sources

32, 33, 50, 70, 144, 147.

Authors

M.S.M. Sosef & L.J.G. van der Maesen