GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION OR ORIGIN:
From central Bolivia to northern Argentina.
MINIMUM TEMPERATURE: 0 °C
IDEAL MINIMUM TEMPERATURE: 5 °C
SYNONYMS: P. ianthina Mast.
P. ianthina Mast.
ETYMOLOGY: With the center of the flower shaped like a navel.
From the Latin umbilicatus, with a small central depression or empty as the navel.
With the center of the flower shaped like a navel.
NOTES: Chromosomes: 2n=18
The very dark purple through to intense blue of the flowers of this vigorous, flowering passionflower, native to the mountains of Argentina and Bolivia, is perhaps unique in the entire genus. Not only is it sought after for this reason, but also because it is so hardy that, in England, it is acclimatised to the outdoors in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
In its regions of origin, it lives at altitudes of between 2500 and 3000 m and this explains its resistance to temperatures around freezing. In Italy, therefore, it is possible to cultivate it outdoors in many coastal regions, on the shores of the great northern lakes, and in all olive-growing climatic zones.
Despite this, it is a hard-to-find passionflower due to the difficulty of growing it in pots and propagating it from cuttings. Those who have tried have encountered continuous failures due to the very low rooting incidence in traditional binodal stem cuttings. Lateral branch cuttings with apical buds appear to give better results. It is easier to obtain from seed.
It has trilobate leaves, 6 cm long and 7 cm wide, with lobes that have rounded apices.
The flowers are about 8 cm in diameter. The slender sepals, hooked at the apex and with a concave upper surface, are of a very dark purple-blue colour. The same colour characterises the slightly shorter petals. Often, they are both completely retroflexed so as to be parallel to the calyx. With their slow, not always synchronised movement, they create curious irregularities in the flower, which acquires a dishevelled appearance.
The corona, made up of five series of short filaments parallel to the androgynophore, is coloured a very dark purple with a white apex.
The ovoid fruits, yellow when ripe, have a diameter of about 6 cm.