Pigeonwings Plant Information
Pigeonwings grows in the following 33 states:Arizona, District Of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia
Clitoria is a genus of insect-pollinated flowering plants.
These plants are native to tropical and temperate areas of the world, including Southeastern Asia (Indonesia & Malaysia) and Madagascar, where the flowers are often used as a food dye or dipped in batter and deep-fried.
The most widely known species of the genus is Clitoria ternatea, also known as butterfly pea. It has medicinal uses and it is used as food, as well. Its roots are used in ayurveda Indian medicine.
This genus was named after the human clitoris, for the flowers bear a resemblance to the vulva. Originally the first described species of the genus was given the name Flos clitoridis ternatensibus in 1678 by Rumpf, a German-born botanist employed by the Dutch East India Company. It was regarded as appropriately named by Johann Philipp Breyne in 1747. Many vernacular names of these flowers in different languages are similarly based on references to a woman's sexual organ.
Controversies existed in the past among botanists regarding the good taste of the naming of the genus. The analogy drew sharp criticism from botanists such as James Edward Smith in 1807, Amos Eaton in 1817, Michel tienne Descourtilz in 1826, and Eaton and Wright in 1840. Some less explicit alternatives, like Vexillaria (Eaton 1817) and Nauchea (Descourtilz 1826), were proposed, but they failed to prosper, and the name Clitoria has survived to this day.
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