Tuesday, 20 October 2015

SA Garden Catalogue: Bunga Telang

Scientific name: Clitoria ternatea
Common name: Butterfly pea, Blue pea, Cordofan pea, Asian pigeonwings
Malay name: Bunga Telang
Family: Fabaceae
Origin: Tropical, equatorial Asia

This is a perennial herbaceous plant which grows as a vine usually. The flowers are a beautiful vivid blue with light yellow markings. (There are varieties that produce white flowers.) The fruits are flat pods that are edible when tender.

Throughout Southeast Asia, the blue flowers are used to colour food. Like the blue in our Nasi kerabu from Kelantan and the blue in our Nyonya kuihs. (In Thailand they make a blue drink and fry the flowers in batter too.)

I grew my plants (above) from seeds given to me by B's teacher friend Santhi. There are four plants growing together, though you cannot really tell from the picture. But they are not doing too well because I tend to over-water (and sometimes the rains aggravate the problem). But I do hope they do well enough to produce some blue flowers for me in the near future.

The weather in early October was rather wet and there have been thunderstorms. But then the 'burning forests' in Indonesia still make for unhealthy air pollution indices. Like today, the API is an unhealthy 339 at 4.00 pm (299 at 5.00 pm). So the smog is still very much upon us!
(2 Dec 15)

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