Herbal Flowers of Kerala, Shankupushpam or bluepeas, Flowers of an Ayurvedic medicinal plant

Photos and info on Ayurvedic medicinal plant's flower named as Shankupushpam in Malayalam, the language of Kerala. The flowers of this perennial plant is also known in names, Clitoria ternatia, butterfly pea or blue pea, mussel-shell climber, pigeon wings etc in English. 

Other names of this medicinal flower are, Shankupushpi, Aparajit(hindi), Aparajita(Bengali), Kakkattan(Tamil),  Bunga telang (Malay), Gokarna (Marathi), Fula criqua (Portuguese), Sangu pu (Tamil), Nagar hedi (Kannada),  Aparajita, saukarnika, ardrakarni, girikarnika, supuspi, mohanasini, vishadoshaghni (Sanskrit). 

Luminescent blue flowers with light yellow core of butterfly peas. The flower and plant has a major importance as Ayurvedic medicines for a number of ailments. Also the flowers are used as food and for food pigmentation. The plant is seen mostly in tropical regions of Asian continent and is believed to be native of Asia.


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The blue Clitoria Tenetia flowers, or the blue peas. The blue flower petals are about 2 or 3 cms wide and the fruit is long like beans and usually encloses about six or seaven seeds within.  rarely they are grown as ornamental plants and sometimes they are used to revegetate the depleted soil of disturbed lands, like that around mines.  The plants of butterfly peas can improve soil quality as they are nitrogen fixing plants.


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The cute violet bloom, aparajita flowers of bengal. Kerala's Shankupushpam and world renowned as blue-peas or butterfly peas. A conch shaped flower in the herbacious plant that belong to pea family. More technically they are of Fabaceae family or Leguminosae. The plant is also placed among papilionaceae. The flower got its name Clitoria Tenatia from its similarity to human female organ and is believed to cure many sexual disorders like infertility, gonorrhea, menstrual disorders etc

Butterfly Pea flowers as Food!

The flowers of blue peas are used as ingredients in many cuisines  in some of the Asian countries. The flowers are used for pigmentation of foods in some of the south east Asian countries like Thailand. In Burma the flowers are fried and served as food. In Malay cooking the water extract of the flower is used to colour rice before cooking. In Thailand a syrupy extract made from the blue flowers are used as drink named 'nam dok anchan'. 

More of the butterfly peas medicinal uses will be on the next posting with white flowers of pigeon-wings, another name of blue peas. Haven't ever thought this perennial vine to be this useful plant as a herb and also in foods. It keeps growing unnoticed around us here. Apart from the blue and white flowers have seen light blue flowers too.

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3 comments:

Abu Dhabi/UAE Daily Photo said...

A stunning capture! Thanks for stopping by my blog!

deangraziosi said...

Thank you so much for sharing this informative bog here. I had this kind of flower plan in my garden.
dean graziosi

Shriram said...

Amazing pics....Have planted a few seeds of the shankupushpam and they have just started sprouting.... waiting for the first blooms....

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