The Butterfly Pea

I made a trip down to see my community garden in Tanglin Secondary School. The school is planning to expand its garden and I was asked to source for more plants and new design of the garden. I was rather surprised that many of the plants there are doing very well, despite the very hot weather recently.

IMG_2011 Healthy shrub !

The butterfly pea plant (Clitoria ternatea), is growing extremely well. There are only two plants and they come as a single vine almost half a year ago, and now they had grown into a spectacular shrub! There are countless of flowers and seed pods every now and then, which the school harvest them to make some delicacies.

               IMG_2012 IMG_2013

Flowers and Seed pods

As some would know, the flowers of this plant are harvested to extract its blue colouring, which is used in some Peranakan dishes and Nonya kuehs. The flowers are pounded and squeezed and the blue colouring is then heated before use.

The Butterfly Pea is a very easy to grow vine for apartment gardeners too. They are fast growing and flower readily. However, they are prone to red spider mites and it will be beneficial to inspect the plant every now and then.

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  1. Bernard Chan
    March 19, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    Not sure whether I can buy the butterfly pea plant from any nursery in Singapore.
    Any tips on its maintenance for people living in HDB flats.

    • Richmond Tan
      March 25, 2010 at 11:16 pm

      Hi Bernard, this plant is available in many nurseries in Singapore. Easy to get plant… It is a climber plant and therefore support is needed. Otherwise it can be treated as any usual plant

  2. olive
    November 29, 2011 at 11:19 am

    Hi Richmond, is olive here fr msia. jz curios, is this butterfly pea really edible? i grow them in my garden but jz bcos i wanna use the flower as colori ng in kueh like u said..

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