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Sunday, November 1, 2009

Today's Flower: Blue Pea (Clitoria ternatea)

Here in Singapore, beautiful flowers are everywhere and often overlooked in preponderance. I must admit, I’m not an exception to the majority of 'sightless' people ignoring them until Betchai’s passion in photography thought me to open my eyes and see the beauty in mundane things.

I am dreaming to amass a plethora of flower snapshots in my leisure pursuit using my point-and-shoot camera. It’s free to dream anyway so I am slowly taking the baby steps to make my dream a reality. Yes, it may take me zillion steps more to arrive at the zenith of my reverie but it brings me pleasure capturing the exquisiteness of my subjects. The best thing I could do for now is to share what I have in progress and this flower is one of them.


Blue Pea
(Today's flower is dedicated to The Salitype Society's birthday girl, Zen whose world is BLUE. It is said that blue gives us sensation of the sky, the sea, and FREEDOM!)


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Description:
Although it can be found growing in the wild in our region, the Blue Pea is believed to have originated from South America and Asia. It is believed to have been brought to India in the 17th century; then to Europe and much later to the tropics. It belongs to the sub-family Papilionaceae of the family Leguminosae and is a perennial climber. With pinnated leaves extending to five to nine leaflets, it often grows into a thick foliage. But the climber is commonly cultivated for its attractive azure flowers with winged petals and light markings. The flowers last 24 hours only. Its flat pods pops black seeds when mature.


Usage:
Locally, the blue flowers are commonly used as dyes for colouring confectionaries. In particular, it is used in the savoury Nonya bak chang or "rice dumplings" where it adds a tinge of blue to the dumplings. As a dye, it is popular amongst the health conscious who do not appreciate artificial dyes. The dye can also be used as a litmus while the plant itself is useful as a matting. Various parts of the Javanese variety, which has white flowers, are used in traditional medicine. The white version is grown today only for ornamental purposes. In Australia, the Blue Pea is valued as fodder because of its higher protein content. It also serves to increase the nitrogen level of the soil.


Source of Information: Singapore Infopedia


Entry post for Today's Flowers meme hosted by Santili, Denise, Pupo and Valkyrien

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NOTE: Similar post first appeared in my Friendster blog and has been deleted.
- Cher

18 comments:

  1. This is the flower we always use to add colour to our deserts.

    And happy birthday to Zen.

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  2. Blue flowers are very rare, and whenever I see one, I always stop and stare, just like the one in the photo. Love the hue.

    AL

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  3. I love the color blue, what a beautiful flower.

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  4. I love you Cher! I can never get enough of Blue...thank you for remembering me each time you see the hue...how i'd love to have that flower on my ear to match my grin...Rainfield, thank you so much for the birthday greetings here and on my blog page...to everyone "life is never blue, with friends like you"- bow he he he...

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  5. Gorgeous image! I had never seen the blue pea flower before. Interesting that blue is associated with freedom...maybe that's why I like that color so much.

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  6. You take amazing pictures, Cher! Beautiful blue pea flower!

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  7. Ah, thanks for the name of this flower Cher, this is simply gorgeous. Do you like flowers? well head on to my flower garden blog, just click on my name and it'll direct you there. See yah...

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  8. they've said it all Che, you are taking amazing pictures of flowers. Your pictures tell your simply cher-rific talent that is just getting better and better each picture you have. keep it up Che.

    And Zen, happy birthday again. Glad Cher gave you a blue birthday gift :)

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  9. Beautiful flower, Cher... I love that color!!!!
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  10. You are such a sweet person ! I love this blue pea. Just like you, I think about Zen when I see anything with blue hahahahaha

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  11. very lovely flower, Cher.

    So this is a Blue Pea... I never knew.. I would probably mistaken it for morning glory haha :P.

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  12. For some reason, I am very attracted to blue flowers. Small blue buds, big blue blossoms...they are all so charming! :)

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  13. so that's how you call that flower =)

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  14. beautiful flower and very interesting information! How lucky you are to have flowers everywhere!

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  15. Anyone here who can teach me how to dye a rice or to cook a rice using blue pea flower?

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