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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Christia vespertilionis, The Red Butterfly Wing

Scientific name: Christia vespertilionis
Synonyms: C. vespertilionis var., vespertilionis, Hedysarum vespertilionis, Lourea vespertilionis

Common name: Red Butterfly Wing, Island Pea, Mariposa (butterfly in Spanish)

Family: Pappilionaceae / Leguminosae / Fabaceae (bean family)
Origin: Southeast Asia and Brazil

Catergory: Ornamental, herbaceous shrubs
Photos taken at: My home garden


plant is grown more for its variegated foliage than the small flowers. They have spindy stems that arch upwards. Requirements:

  •  Soil mix should be loose and well draining but keep it moist and do not let it dry out. The soil medium should be neutral to mildly acidic.
  • Sun: Prefer partial shade in the outdoors but can tolerate full sun or indoor shade.
  • Water: Regular watering schedule
  • Propagation is by herbaceous stem cuttings and by seeds. Allow seedheads to dry on the plants before you remove and collect the seeds.
  • This plant grows well in Zone 10-11. It can reach a height of 2-3 ft. Makes a good container and indoor houseplant.

As I know, our nurseries here in Malaysia do not regularly stock up this plant. Therefore, do buy it and have fun growing it when you see the plants available for sale in your area.

This is my entry for Cottage Floral Thursdays #15, my grateful thanks to Fishtail Cottage. To participate and view other entries around the world, please click here.


  1. I can see how it got it's name. Very pretty.

  2. So very pretty! thank so much for linking up to Cottage Flora Thursday's today & hope to see you again next week! oxox, tracie

  3. Oh, what a lovely and unusual plant!

  4. Nice blossoms flower you have.. Can anyone find the seeds.. Highly appreciated.. Pls update me asap.. Thanks..

  5. Hi, my father has been looking around for this plant. Do you mind to share where can we find the plant or the seed? Kindly contact me at Thank you very much

    1. Chris, I bought this plant in Sg Buloh. I don't have this plant anymore. I hope someone can update us on this.


Yay! You like flowers too.

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