Passiflora cincinnata | The Italian Collection of Maurizio Vecchia

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

Passiflora cincinnata | The Italian Collection of Maurizio Vecchia

Systematics (J. Macdougal et al., 2004)

SUBGENUS: passiflora
SUPERSECTION: passiflora
SERIES: passiflora


This species is widely diffused in South America: eastern Brazil, southern Paraguay and southern Argentina, eastern and southern Bolivia.




 P. corumbensis Bar. Rodr., P. perlobata Killip.


 From the Latin cincinnatus, curly, curly-haired man, referred to the morphology of the crown consisting of curly-shaped filaments.


Chromosomes: n=9, 2n=18 



The etymology of the name of this beautiful passionflower embodies its main aesthetic characteristic: it has developed a corona of light violet filaments so showy and rich that the corolla of the sepals and petals is almost reduced to a secondary accessory.

This plant's natural habitat lies in Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, Venezuela and Argentina. It is not hardy and in winter needs to be sheltered in a greenhouse or indoors, as long as a temperature of at least 10-12°C is maintained. The commitment required to see it bloom is rewarded by the beauty of its large, fragrant flowers. Thanks to the American breeder Dr Robert Knight, however, P. cincinnata has found a way to survive our regions' freezing winters outdoors in the form of a famous hybrid, P. 'Incense', in which its aesthetic characteristics are emphasised.

P. cincinnata is robust and has glabrous, rigid stems. Its leaves are palmate, usually with five lobes, tapered at the base, sharp at the apex and broad in the middle. The petiole bears two glands in line with the first half. It is divided into 5 ribs which then support the 5 lobes.

The flower's calyx is covered with bracts also equipped with glands. The sepals, which end in a small hook, are green on the reverse side and light violet on the upper side. The petals are also deep violet, sometimes with a pink tinge. The corolla reaches a size of 10-13 cm, faces slightly backwards, and is covered by the corona of a slightly larger diameter. The various series of very curled filaments are dark violet alternating with paler light pink bands from the base to beyond the middle and shaded at the apex.

The ovoid green fruits reach a diameter of 3-4 cm and a length of 5-6 cm.

It is a species that, due to its elegance and ease of cultivation, is very widespread among collectors, even beginners. There is a horticultural variety that has dark pollen and is called P. cincinnata 'Dark Pollen' by gardeners. There are also different forms depending on the geographical origin.

This plant, which should be stored in a greenhouse in winter, is also suited to growing indoors. To see it bloom abundantly, it is advisable to use pots of at least 20 cm in diameter with supports up to at least 1.5 m high. Normal multipurpose soil can be used and should be watered in the summer as required, adding liquid fertiliser once a week.

Propagation is possible both from seed and from cuttings. I recommend the latter method because it guarantees more robust and ready-to-bloom specimens.