It is a perennial herbaceous plant, with elliptic, obtuse leaves. It grows as a vine or creeper, doing well in moist, neutral soil. The most striking feature about this plant is the colour of its flowers, a vivid deep blue; solitary, with light yellow markings. They are about 4 cm (1.6 in) long by 3 cm (1.2 in) wide. Some varieties yield white flowers. The fruits are 5–7 cm long, flat pods with six to ten seeds in each pod. They are edible when tender.
It is grown as an ornamental plant and as a revegetation species (e.g., in coal mines in Australia), requiring little care when cultivated. As a legume, its roots form a symbiotic association with soil bacteria known as rhizobia, which transform atmospheric N2 into a plant-usable form (a process called nitrogen-fixing), therefore, this plant is also used to improve soil quality through the decomposition of nitrogen-rich plant material.