Passiflora stefano capitanio | The Italian Collection of Maurizio Vecchia

Passiflora stefano capitanio, information, classification, temperatures. etymology of Passiflora stefano capitanio. Discover the Italian Passiflora Collection by Maurizio Vecchia.

Passiflora stefano capitanio | The Italian Collection of Maurizio Vecchia

GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION OR ORIGIN:

P. 'Fata Confetto' x P. edmundoi (pink form).
Hybrid of horticultural origin


MINIMUM TEMPERATURE: 2 °C


IDEAL MINIMUM TEMPERATURE: 10 °C


ETYMOLOGY:

Dedicated to the late Vivaista Stefano Capitanio.


DESCRIPTION:

The origin of the name dates back to 2012, when I was invited to Monopoli, Vivai Capitanio, for a presentation on the occasion of the 'FOURTH NATIONAL MEDITERRANEAN NURSERY DAY. COLOUR IN THE GARDEN'. As part of this event there was also the awarding of prizes dedicated to Stefano Capitanio, owner of the nursery who had died suddenly a few years earlier.

I gave my presentation entitled 'The Passiflora Genus: species and hybrids suitable for the Mediterranean climate'. At the end of the event I was asked to dedicate a hybrid to Stefano Capitanio. I kept my promise shortly after when a cross-breed of mine opened its first flower.

Passiflora 'Stefano Capitanio' is one of my most beautiful hybrids. The size of the flower, its shape enriched by a large and showy crown made of wavy and curly filaments of deep purple and the magenta with a touch of cyan of the corolla are an authentic spectacle.

The hybrid is complex, in fact it was obtained by crossing P. 'Fata Confetto' M. Vecchia, with P. edmundoi Sacco (pink form). It therefore contains four different species: (P. incarnata L. x P. tucumanensis Hook., x P. cincinnata Masters) x P. edmundoi Sacco.

The father (P. edmundoi pink form) introduced the magenta color in the petals and sepals and reduced, compared to the P. 'Fata Confetto', the number of alternating white and violet bands in the filaments. The latter have remained, sometimes barely visible, only in the center of the flower and are in variable numbers even on flowers of the same specimen. For this reason, due to the presence of flowers with different characteristics, with a lighter or darker centre, a misunderstanding has arisen and there is a hybrid sold with an incorrect name. In reality it is the same hybrid.

I investigated this variability and was told by a friend of mine, a renowned molecular biologist and geneticist, that the expression of pigments in flowers is modulated, among others and within certain limits, by temperature: cold increases them and heat decreases them. This explains the presence of different flowers on both different specimens and on the same specimen.

There are blooms with a completely white centre of the crown and a lighter corolla. Certainly these have flourished in warmer climatic zones and/or seasons, and perhaps substrates with different pH values have been used. In the flowering specimens in my collection, the centre of the flower is darker in late summer and when night temperatures drop below 20°C. The pH of my substrate is subacid.

I attach two close-up images of flowers taken from the same specimen. The dark one was photographed on May 16, 2023 (photo 5). The weather was cool. The second was photographed on 30 June 2023, with high daytime temperatures (photo 6).

On several occasions, I have created hybrids using P. ‘Fata Confetto’ x P. edmundoi and there have been no others similar to P. 'Stefano Capitanio'. You can see here the P. 'Fata del Mare', unfortunately extinct, and the more recent P. 'Fata Violetta'. As was explained to me, it would be impossible for the cross-breed, obtained from four species, to have resulted in such similar flowers, precisely because of the complexity of the cross-breeding itself in which thousands of genes are always mixed in a different and unpredictable way.

Some images defined as P. 'Pandora' published on social networks, on Facebook groups, in nurseries, and characterized by a lighter center of the flower or with alternating white bands, are not P. 'Pandora' but P. 'Stefano Capitanio'.

The mother of P. 'Stefano Capitanio', P. ' Fata Confetto', is one of the hardiest passifloras that exists. Its vitality at low temperatures comes from two of the parents: P. incarnata and P. tucumanensis, both sucker-producing.

P. cincinnata did not actually reduce this fridge resistance, far from it. On the other hand, P. cincinnata  itself lives in a very vast range that goes from Argentina to the more properly equatorial areas. We know that there are tropical species that have acquired and encoded fridge-resistance in their genetic code during the ice ages of our planet. This property has remained even in the very slow variation of the climate up to the current tropical one.

P. ' Stefano Capitanio' is generous in its flowering, truly spectacular.

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