Saturday, August 29, 2009

Centrosema virginianum not Clitoria mariana

I brought a flower in for identification purposes because, of course, I wanted to be certain. Apparently mistakes have been made in this area before. Just joking. Actually the identification is pretty unambiguous; the calyx on Clitoria is distinctly tubular. There are so many places to go with this post and they are all bad. Oh well, here goes.

This is from seed wild collected in Alabama last year. We identified it in the field as Clitoria but this plant is clearly Centrosema. Back in the day, when I was just a young pup, there was a great deal made in popular literature (particularly women's magazines) about the importance of being able to identify the "Clitoria". I think most of us are pretty good on that now and we've moved forward to other important issues. Apparently though, for example in this case, we can backslide so vigilance is of the utmost importance.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Which one is this? At first I thought they were orchids, But later I decided they were a type of pea plant.
It's blooms grow right side up, as opposed to the upside down blooms in the Centrosema photos I have seen. And the leaves are more grasslike. See for yourself: