The Pink Butterfly Pea is a native vine that has attractive, lavender-pink flowers and trifoliate leaves. It is native to the central and southern United States and tropical America. It grows in pinelands and woodlands and coastal uplands. It is an herbaceous perennial vine with trailing stems that grows on shrubs and along the ground, where it can form small patches. The stems grow to about 6 feet or more in length and can climb several feet on nearby vegetation. The flowers resemble butterflies, hence the name. In the southern part of its range, it flowers all year long and in the northern part of its range it blooms in the spring and summer. The flowers are followed by long, slender pods that contain a number of seeds. It is a host plant for a variety of butterflies and the flowers provide nectar for insects. It grows in rich soils as well as dry, gravelly, sandy or limestone, nutrient poor soils. It is drought tolerant and salt tolerant and it grows in coastal uplands as well as interior scrublands in Florida. The butterfly pea is grown for its large flowers in native plant gardens and butterfly gardens. Hardy in zones 5-12.
Growing Instructions for the Pink Butterfly Pea
- The seeds have a hard seed coat that has to be scarified to let water into the seed. Scarify the seeds by nicking or sanding the seed coat. The seeds can be sanded with sandpaper, a nail file or an emery board. 2. Soak the seed in water for several hours. 3. The seeds like moist, well-drained soil. Prepare a mixture of half potting soil and half sand, perlite or vermiculite. Put the soil in a pot. Water the mixture so that it is moist but not wet. 4. Put the seeds on the soil. 5. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil. 6. Water the seeds. 7. Place the pots in an area with warm temperatures in full sun. 8. When the seedlings are a few inches tall, they can be transplanted.