GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION OR ORIGIN:
Antilles, from Guatemala to Costa Rica, Colombia, from central Brazil to Paraguay.
MINIMUM TEMPERATURE: 5 °C
IDEAL MINIMUM TEMPERATURE: 10 °C
SYNONYMS: P. hassleriana Chod., P. paraguayensis Chod., P. piligera Gardn, P. pubescens Kunth.
P. hassleriana Chod., P. paraguayensis Chod., P. piligera Gardn, P. pubescens Kunth.
ETYMOLOGY: From the shape of the fruits formed by an elongated capsule with five pre-established fractures.
From the shape of the fruits formed by an elongated capsule with five pre-established fractures.
NOTES: Chromosomes: n=6, 2n=12
Chromosomes: n=6, 2n=12
This passionflower is a small and graceful rambler. It blooms in pure white amidst the dark green tomentose foliage. The flowers are elegant, the leaves interesting for their uncommon shape. It is easy to grow and adaptable even to small pots. Reproduced from cuttings, it blooms as soon as it manages to consolidate its root system, even if only 20 or 30 cm high. Despite being small in size, it grows rapidly and branches out to become increasingly dense.
It is widespread in Brazil, Costa Rica, Paraguay and San Salvador, where it grows up to an altitude of 1500 m. It has some resistance to cold, which it can bear for short periods, but it is advisable not to cultivate it in winter at temperatures below 7°C. A few degrees more will enable it to reach spring in full health. If placed in a large pot with rich, nutritious soil, its angled stems can easily reach 2-3 metres in length.
The leaves, supported by a glandless petiole, are rounded at the base and are divided into two pointed lobes, supported by two lateral ribs that branch off from the petiole. The leaf blade is wrinkled and slightly tomentose; a third rib runs centrally and ends in line with an outline of a third lobe, sometimes barely visible, other times more evident.
The flowers are white. The sepals are longer and wider than the petals and both tend to face backwards. The corolla thus appears to be made up of two concentric five-pointed stars, one larger and the other smaller. In contrast, the simple and sparse corona of filaments, also white, stretches upwards with a slight curvature of the apices towards the corolla, so as to give the flower volume and sphericity.
The fruits are elongated hexagonal capsules, brown in colour. When ripe, the fruit starts opening from the end and divides into six segments that fold upwards, revealing the seeds that at the slightest breath of wind will fall to the ground to disperse.
P. capsularis is a pot plant that must be sheltered in the winter, but which can be kept outdoors from April onwards. The 'Vanilla Creme' cultivar is very fragrant.
It is propagated from cuttings. From seed, however, it is
possible to obtain plants that bloom within a year.