Common name for
a vine in the Fabaceae family, with the botanical designation Clitoria ternatea.
Whereas the first part refers to the shape of this climber's flowers which resemble the intimate
parts of the female anatomy, the second part derives from the Indonesian Island
of Ternate, where this species was first recorded. This evergreen plant is native to tropical, equatorial
Asia, but has been introduced to other parts of the world. It twines up to 3.5
meters high and has slender stems with fresh green leaves. The large flowers,
that grow up to 5 centimeters, are pale lilac with a yellow centre, and the
plant's seeds sit in flat
pods, that hang underneath the flowers. In Southeast Asia, the
flowers are used as a colouring agent or additive in food, and both in
Thai and Burmese cuisine, the flowers are
dipped in batter and fried. Furthermore, the plant is used as a medicine in
In Thai, this creeper is known as anchan (อัญชัน).