PASSIFLORA

PASSIFLORA

FAMILY :: PASSIFLORACEAE
THE PASSION FLOWER, when first sighted in the AmericasFAMILY :: PAPAVERACEAE in the 1500s by invading Spanish soldiers and clergy, was so spectacular to them, and such an object of reverence to the Native Peoples, that these invaders, in a fashion typical of the greed of their society and religion, claimed the beauty of this flower for their god, because of their belief that, although the “heathens” had valued this beauty for millennia, they didn’t deserve it; only the Christian god did.

Through some bizarre or diabolical distortion of reality, the Spanish clergy converted the native passion for these flowers into an idiotic representation of the Crucifixion. The world should be thankful that these early Conquistadors (in the name of their god) didn’t simply dispose of the passion flower the way they disposed of the natives and their cultures.

PASSION FLOWERS are all tropical or subtropical vines climbing by tendrils, often with very showy flowers and sometimes with edible fruit. None are hardy in the temperate climates.

GROW in a well drained, very rich soil kept moist, but not wet (especially in winter). Fertilize often during the growing season and protect from critters (almost everything likes to eat them). Most love full sun, though naturally, tropical vines spend much of their lives growing in partial shade as they seek the sunlight. They like much root room; if grown in pots, repot yearly.

PASSIFLORA ALATO-CAERULEA

PASSIFLORA ALATO-CAERULEA

FAMILY :: PASSIFLORACEAE
PASSION FLOWER: Sometimes sold as P. pfordii. Large flowers (to 4″ across), scented, with white and purple alternating petals. A relatively hardy (down to the high 20ºs f.), very vigorous vine. Large three lobed dark green leaves and no fruit. Blooms well and prolifically in winter or part shade. A popular old-time commercial hybrid.

PASSIFLORA CAERULEA

PASSIFLORA CAERULEA

FAMILY :: PASSIFLORACEAE
BLUE PASSION FLOWER: One of the hardiest (down to zone 7 with protection), with five lobed dark green leaves and 3-4″ white flowers, with a blue, white and purple corona. 1½” yellow fruit, edble, but not choice. Fragrant flowers. One of the easiest passion flowers to grow in captivity.