GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION OR ORIGIN:
From Nicaragua to eastern Colombia and southern and south-eastern Peru. From sea level to 1,500 m of altitude.
MINIMUM TEMPERATURE: 10 °C
IDEAL MINIMUM TEMPERATURE: 15 °C
SYNONYMS: P. cuellensis Goudot ex Triana & Planch.
P. cuellensis Goudot ex Triana & Planch.
ETYMOLOGY: Denomination attributed for the morphological characteristics of the leaves that are similar to those of Gen. Menispermum (Menispermaceae).
Denomination attributed for the morphological characteristics of the leaves that are similar to those of Gen. Menispermum (Menispermaceae).
The most striking feature of those who encounter this passionflower for the first time is its extreme hairiness. It is completely covered with thick, erect hairs. With the exception of the flowers, no part is spared, not even the tendrils, which also shine with the long, sparse silky brown hairs covering them.
It is distributed across a large geographical area running from Nicaragua to Bolivia, where it is found at altitudes even higher than 1500 m.
Its broad leaves, almost trilobate due to a semblance of two lateral lobes widening the base, have an elongated and pointed central apex, lanceolate in shape. They measure up to 15 cm in length and 12 cm in width. The petiole bears one or two pairs of glands hidden in the thick hair.
The flowers (about 7-8 cm in diameter), in rich shades of violet and purple with white contrasts, are very beautiful. The light violet sepals and petals are completely surrounded by a large and dense corona made up of numerous series of filaments. The outermost series is dark purple at the base, with two or three alternating white and violet bands in the middle. The tip fades to a slightly pinkish white. The other series, with very short, dense filaments, are of a beautiful dark purple colour.
This tropical passionflower is to be grown in pots due to its thermal needs which are not compatible with our winters. It suffers below 15°C and, only for short periods, tolerates temperatures around 10°C. Its ideal location is, therefore, in a greenhouse or in a heated and bright environment. It must be grown in good, rich, well-drained soil.
The recommended propagation method is by cuttings. The seeds do germinate easily, however.