GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION OR ORIGIN:
Eastern Brazil from Minas Gerais to São Paulo. Widespread form in the State of Minas Gerais
MINIMUM TEMPERATURE: 5 °C
IDEAL MINIMUM TEMPERATURE: 10 °C
SYNONYMS: P. bangii Mast., P. cornuta Mast., P. laminensis Barb. Rodr., P. lilacina Roemer, P. onichyna Lindley, P. violacea Vell
P. bangii Mast., P. cornuta Mast., P. laminensis Barb. Rodr., P. lilacina Roemer, P. onichyna Lindley, P. violacea Vell
ETYMOLOGY: From the color violet-amethyst of the flowers.
From the color violet-amethyst of the flowers.
NOTES: Chromosomes: n=9, 2n=18
Chromosomes: n=9, 2n=18
Its dense and complex corona of bright amethyst-coloured filaments, slightly retroflexed so as to hide the corolla, its intense perfume and its graceful posture are among the most captivating qualities of Passiflora amethystina.
When in bloom, this small climber enchants due to the contrast of the intense colour of the radiating flowers and the trilobate leaves with a slightly ashen dominant. Observing its flowering one cannot but think of the precious stones from which it takes its name.
Coming from Brazil and recently rediscovered, P. amethystina lends itself to being cultivated in pots (15/20 cm in diameter); if placed in a bright and warm place, it is suitable as a houseplant. To live in the open ground, it needs a relatively high average winter temperature, at least around 10/12°C. Only the Sicilian coasts and a few other Italian locations, including perhaps Liguria and Lake Maggiore, are suitable for allowing it to be grown outdoors all year round.
The trilobate leaves (about 7 x 8 cm) are supported by a petiole rich in striking filiform glands, often paired. The petals and sepals are purple violet. The latter, light green in colour on the bottom lamina, end with a long, slightly curved spike.
The corona of the filaments is made up of numerous series. The colour changes in the different areas and forms original colourful concentric bands. Starting from the centre of the flower there is a large dark burgundy area followed by a white area alternating with small deep purple and white areas. The distal part of the filaments is bright violet which fades to white towards the apex. The flower measures approximately 6-7 cm.
The fruits have the shape of small green eggs, are about 4/5 cm long and just 2/2.5 cm wide. They are filled with greenish pulp in which black seeds are immersed.
Other passifloras have mistakenly been identified by many florists and gardening catalogues with the name of P. amethystina. In particular, some hybrids (P. cerulea x P. racemosa also called P. x violacea) or P. 'Amethyst', also called P. 'Lavender Lady', another beautiful hybrid with large purple flowers, robust and hardier. The true P. amethystina is rarer and more difficult to find, other than in specialised nurseries, but it deserves to be sought and spread, since it offers exceptional spectacles of flowering in a small space, and without particular difficulties of cultivation.