|Photo by Shirley Denton (Copyrighted, use by photographer’s permission only), Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants|
|Division:||Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants|
|Class:||Magnoliopsida - Dicotyledons|
|Family:||Fabaceae ⁄ Leguminosae|
| Clitoria fragrans|
|Natural range of Clitoria fragrans from USDA NRCS Plants Database.|
Common name: Sweetscented pigeonwings
Synonym: Martiusia fragrans (Small) Small The Plant List.org
The common name, pigeon wings, is due to the flowers' bird-like appearance.
C. fragrans is a perennial, erect, suffrutescent herb that is found in scrub and sandhill habitats along the Lake Wales Ridge. It is distinguishable from other legumes by its non-twining habit, prominent stipules, three foliate leaves, and resupinate flowers. It has both chasmogamous and cleistogamous fowers.
It is endemic to the Lake Wales Ridge and is an endangered species in Florida. The distribution of C. fragrans is limited by the rapidly disappearing scrub habitat due to agriculture and residential development.
C. fragrans can be found in the xeric soils of turkey oak scrubs and sandhills along the Lake Wales Ridge(Menges et al. 2007). It often can be found occupying open, sandy spaces between shrubs, along sandy fire lanes, and between citrus groves. Associated species include Quercus, Gordonia, Vitis, Pinus, Aristida stricta, Quercus laevis and Quercus incana.
C. fragrans has both chasmogamous and cleistogamous flowers and has been observed to produce more cleistogamous flowers and fruit than chamogamous structures. The chasmogamous flowers are lavender, with darker purplish lines and white throats and can be observed blooming May to June. Cleistogamous flowers occur later in the summer through late September.
It exhibits ballistic seed dispersal, this results in most of the new individuals coming from plants already established in the population. The cleistogamous and chasmogamous seeds have been observed to not have morphological differences. Fruits are three sided achenes.
C. fragrans is found in pyrogenic habitats along the Lake Wales Ridge and has a long taproot to increase fire survival. Fire increases both flowering and population density in plants; however, it has been observed flowering in a site not burned for thirty years Plants in long-unburned sites have been observed to rarely produce cleistogamous flowers. Weekley and Menges (2003) observed a moderate resprouting response to fire.
The following Hymenoptera families and species were observed visiting flowers of Clitoria fragrans at Archbold Biological Station:
Megachilidae: Megachile petulans
Use by animals
C. fragrans is a host plant to the long-tailed skipper.
Conservation and management
C. fragrans is a federally threatened and endangered species in Florida. A major threat to the species is the conversion of habitat on the Lake Wales Ridge to agriculture and urbanization; this also leads to population fragmentation..
In order to prevent further population loss, prescribed fire is suggested.
Cultivation and restoration
References and notes
- [FWS] Accessed: December 7, 2015
- Small, John K.. “A New Butterfly-pea from Florida.”. Torreya 26.3 (1926): 56–57.
- Lewis, M.N. 2000. Life History and Reproductive Biology of Clitoria fragrans Relative to Fire History on the Avon Park Air Force Range. University of Central Florida.
- Frantz, P.R. 1977. A Monograph of the genus Clitoria (Leguminosae Glycineae) [Ph.D. dissertation]. Univ. Florida. pp. 696-705
- [FNAI] Accessed: December 7, 2015
- Florida State University Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium database. URL: http://herbarium.bio.fsu.edu. Last accessed: October 2015. Collectors: R.K. Godfrey, O. Lakela, Grady W. Reinert, John K. Small, Edgar T. Wherry. States and Counties: Florida: Highlands, Polk. Compiled by Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.
- Palazzo, A.J., Hardy, S.E., Cary, T.J., and Bashore, T. 2007 A Review of the Growth Habits and Restoration Issues for Clitoria fragrans and Polygonella basiramia. US Army Corps of Engineers Engineer Research and Development Center.
- [Native Florida Wildflowers]Accessed: December 7, 2015
- [NatureServe] Accessed: December 7, 2015
- Weekley, C.S. and E.S. Menges. 2003a. Species and vegetation responses to prescribed fire in a longunburned, endemic-rich Lake Wales Ridge scrub. Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society 130(4):265-282.
- Deyrup, M.A. and N.D. 2015. Database of observations of Hymenoptera visitations to flowers of plants on Archbold Biological Station, Florida, USA.