Trivial Names: Sky-Earth, Sail-Earth, K litoria, Butterfly Pea
Scientific name: Clitoria ternatea
Plant history & use:
Large climbing plant whose flowers have an intense blue color that is easily released when hot water is added.
Used to color food, sweets and drinks.
In Asia, tea made directly from the flowers is drunk. Sometimes it is mixed with lemongrass, honey and lime.
Himmelsärt is also used in traditional medicine as a relaxant and memory enhancer.
The normally blue colored drink changes to purple if you add something acidic, such as lemon. This is due to pH changes in the composition. Similarly, the flowers of the sky pea are sometimes used to make blue gin, which turns purple when tonic is added.
As a comparison, you can think that tea made in Himmelsart is used in Asia in the same way that we in Sweden use chamomile tea.
Like The goa bean Himmelsärten is regenerative for the soil in that it fixes nitrogen from air pores in the soil and works well as a ground cover crop. On the other hand, Himmelsärten is generally not hardy in Sweden, unlike Goa bean.
The sky pea is a sun-loving, fast-growing plant that quickly establishes itself if it has something to climb on.
Cultivation in a pot is recommended if you want to let it become perennial in Sweden. Overwinter frost-free.
Able to grow in both moist and dry soils. Thrives surprisingly well in heavy clay soils. For growing in pots, a loamy soil with good drainage should be used.
Top branches for a bushier growth habit.
Pre-cultivated indoors early in the year, alternatively sown outside in April-May.
Soak the seeds 1 day in advance. Sow in moist soil and preferably cover with plastic with small air holes to maintain good moisture.
Plant position: sun
Height: 150-300 cm
Germination time: 10-20 days