Butterfly Pea Vine By The RoadsideWednesday, November 11, 2009
The shrubs below were seen by the roadside, just outside an old nursery that's not in operation anymore.
The condition of the plant was really good and its stems looked strong with lots of flowers and pods too. A man there told me that many strangers have stopped by and help themselves to the flowers.
This is one common sun-loving plant that can been seen growing in the wild as creepers and on fences as vines.
The Chinese call this plant 'kah yeang shu' (Cantonese) which means 'kaya tree' as its flowers are used as colouring to make blue glutinuous rice (a popular kuih) which is always served with kaya (coconut jam). Besides that, the flower has also been proven to contain a little calcium.
Clitoria Ternatea is the botanic name of this plant. The appearance of the flower has inspired some of its common names such as butterfly pea, Asian pigeonwings and clitoria.
The pods are edible too but only the tender ones are palatable.
The older pods can be used to feed livestock.
I learnt that the roots are bitter and have medicinal properties that can cure chronic bronchitis and remove phlegms. In fact many research studies have been done to identify the antidotal properties of this plant, that is useful for curing eye infections, skin diseases, urinary problems and ulcers.
So this is one plant that's not only useful in the kitchen but also serves as a herb plant as well!