Butterfly Peas and a New Arbor

About six weeks ago my husband and older son had built me my first arbor. It’s rough- just wired-together bamboo and cattle panels- but so special to me. My husband is getting interested in building with bamboo and this was his first project! I didn’t want to share photos of the arbor until the plants really started filling in, which is happening with astonishing speed.

arbor2It’s only been about six weeks and already you can barely see the wire, it just blends in with the plants. The luffas have already covered the top of the arbor and the butterfly pea is quickly taking over the sides. I planted passionflower vines too, but every time the poor passionflowers put out leaves the zebra longwings and gulf fritillaries lay eggs on them.
arbor1This arbor provides welcome shade in a very hot part of the yard, adds a visual barrier to hide the trash cans and recycling bins on the other side, and is just really damn beautiful. This arbor will probably only last a couple of years, but by then we’ll be ready to build a more permanent structure.

Way back in 2011 I posted about a Maylasian drink recipe made from the blue flowers of the Clitoria ternatea, called butterfly pea. I did a bunch of research on growing it and recipes for the flowers, then got distracted by the next shiny object and never searched it out. Then about a month ago I was strolling through my farmers market and lo and behold!

clitorea4

One of the vendors had two big healthy butterfly pea plants. The vendor was so surprised that not only did I know what it was, I knew the latin name! I bought them both on the spot. The plants are already blooming. I can’t wait to be able to harvest enough to make Dok Anchan. Now all I need is a Pandanus amaryllifolius plant or three.

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