***NOT TO TAS, WA*** (Clitoria ternatea) Fast growing, climbing plant producing attractive blue/pink flowers in mid to late Summer. May be grown on a trellis in the garden as an attractive way to encourage butterflies into the garden, as they are one of their favourite food sources. Fast to grow. Requires full sun but will tolerate part shade. Very hardy being quite drought tolerant. Able to be grown on clay soils & also shows some tolerance to salty soils. Pinch branches regularly to encourage side growth & thicken foliage. Pods are also edible & delicious when eaten fresh or in stir-fry. Flowers are also used as a natural water-based food colouring used to add a brilliant blue colour to drinks, icings, cup-cake batters, jellies & sauces or dipped in tempura batter & fried. It also makes a bright blue coloured herbal tea. It should be noted that the flowers are high in anthocyanin antioxidants.
It is an amazing plant in that when the flowers are made into a herbal tea, it shows as a brilliant blue coloured tea. If a few drops of lemon juice is added, it then changes to a brilliant purple colour, then with the addition of another few drops of lemon, becomes a brilliant hot pink colour. A great novelty to serve guests.
This plant is also commonly used as a fodder crop with the plants being high in protein & very easily digested.
Also beneficial when used as a green manure crop as it adds nitrogen & carbon back into the soil, and is great for planting at the base of any orchard tree, both enriching the soil & attracting pollinators to the flowers ensuring good fruit set.
Annual - perennial in warmer areas.
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