This species is best known for its edible 'passion fruit' -- the 'maracuja.' It grows in the tropical regions of several continents, in numerous species and cultivars. In Europe it is not always winter hardy. For that reason we generally regard it as short-lived, *but* the blue passionflower (Passiflora caerulea) described here is a perennial lasting several years and is therefore the variety that interests us for the greening of facades and walls.
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(lat.: Passiflora caerulea); also known as maypop, bluecrown passionflower, common passionflower, and corona de cristo
A passion flower should be planted in a sunny, wind-protected location. It needs frequent watering and well-drained soil enriched with compost, sand, and peat; fertilisation is beneficial. In warmer climates passiflora may last several years, but it needs to be mulched in winter with leaves, needles, or straw. When planted in a pot, the passion flower can be wintered in a light and cool room at 5° to 10° C in moist earth. The white flowering cultivar "Constance Elliott" from England is frost hardier than the blue cultivar.
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The passion flower is a twining vine originally from Argentina, Brasil and Peru. The dark, beautiful leaves can be evergreen in some climates. Planted in the ground it can reach 7 - 12 metres high. Exotic flowers on the younger shoots in shades of white-red-purple from May to September (or later after very cold winters..i.e July - October). The flowers are open only by day. Spanish priests compared the flowers with Christ's martyrdom: 10 petals as 10 Apostles, the stamen ring as the crown of thorns, 5 filaments as 5 wounds, and the 3 stigmas as the nails (2 for hands, 1 for feet). The fruit of passiflora caerula are the size of a chicken egg but not edible. Heavy pruning is necessary in early spring.
Passiflora do best on closely-meshed arrangments with 25 - 35 cm grid spacing; vertical wires should dominate (standing rectangles instead of squares). See the table of suitable designs below. The 5050 with or without additional steel rods is a good choice. Choose among the easy (basic/basic-s), light or medium construction styles.
Please click on a graphic to call up its trellis profile!
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