GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION OR ORIGIN:
Costa Rica and Panama, Central America.
MINIMUM TEMPERATURE: 7 °C
IDEAL MINIMUM TEMPERATURE: 12 °C
ETYMOLOGY: Greek privative alpha (α, άλφα) is used to indicate the absence of petals in the flower. No petals.
Greek privative alpha (α, άλφα) is used to indicate the absence of petals in the flower. No petals.
P. apetala has leaves that are much more interesting than the flowers. They are bilobed, like almost all those of the plants ascribed to the subgenus Decaloba, and reach a length of 6 cm. They are characteristic for the spread lobes, very long and pointed. The leaves are therefore conspicuously forked. Furthermore, in the middle of the two lobes, in correspondence with the two external nervations, runs a delicate but evident light band, barely indicated along the median nervation, as if to underline the originality of the shape.
This passiflora is a small climber with hairless, angled and grooved stems, coming from the mountains of Costa Rica and Panama (1000-2000 metres), and is cultivated mainly by collectors of Heliconius butterflies.
It lends itself to being grown in pots and used as a decorative plant due to the aesthetic characteristics of its foliage. Thanks to its limited growth it adapts to small spaces and can be used as a green houseplant, without expecting showy blooms from it.
Its flowers are, in fact, very small: they do not reach 2 cm in diameter and are formed only by yellow-green sepals and a crown of white filiform filaments. The petals are absent or barely hinted at, so much so that, unlike most passifloras, the flowers have a pentameral symmetry and, for this reason, look like small stars coloured very light green. They are supported by a long peduncle which tends to face upwards. The flowers are followed by shiny black spherical berries about the size of a pea, from which seeds can be obtained for reproduction.
It also multiplies by binodal cutting.
It is not a hardy and cold resistant plant, so much so that it is damaged by prolonged periods below 7°C. If you want it to survive the winter season without vegetating, its ideal temperature is 10°C.
However, if kept in an apartment or greenhouse, it will continue to grow and bloom. It can be grown in a pot of 15-18 cm in diameter, equipped with supports or racks to allow it to climb and show all its grace. It needs rich but well-drained soil.