GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION OR ORIGIN:
Horticultural selection of P. caerulea with white flowers.
MINIMUM TEMPERATURE: -10 °C
IDEAL MINIMUM TEMPERATURE: 5 °C
ETYMOLOGY: Constance Eliott was the wife of Samuel Eliott, a qucchero, manager of a nursery.
Constance Eliott was the wife of Samuel Eliott, a qucchero, manager of a nursery.
I believe this is the finest variety of P. caerulea. It has white flowers throughout and is thus the albino variety. Those who prefer flowers of this colour will find an extraordinary plant in P. caerulea 'Constance Eliott'. It has, in fact, numerous advantages: its very large, shiny flowers, a prolonged flowering until late autumn, its non-invasiveness, and remarkable hardiness.
The petals and sepals are pure white, but the corona of filaments, larger and denser than that of the typical species, is also brilliant white.
The flowers follow one another continuously along the shoots at each node of the stem and side branches. So, every day there will be new blooms and the plant will never be bare. The flowering peak is reached in the middle of summer and during this period P. caerulea 'Constance Eliott' gives its best. It will continue to bloom, albeit with less and less intensity, until late autumn, pushing the boundary of the first frost.
If the winter is relatively mild, it remains dense with shiny, almost leathery leaves. Upon the arrival of intense and prolonged cold, with temperatures close to -10°C, the plant is almost completely stripped and the light terminal shoots may be damaged. Then in spring it will recover as if nothing had happened.
This passionflower deserves a prominent place in the garden. It can cover fences and pergolas, enriching them with white, fragrant stars immersed in dark green. It lends itself to being grown in pots and placed on the balcony or terrace, as it adapts well to more limited spaces.
It does not require care, except for the clearing of dry shoots damaged by wind and frost. It fruits less abundantly than the typical species and the fruit is smaller and less vibrant in colour.
In order to maintain its characteristics, P. caerulea 'Constance Eliott' should not be reproduced from seed, as plants with coloured filament coronas would emerge, albeit with a softer intensity than that of the typical species. It has to multiply vegetatively, using the cutting method or exploiting the root suckers that grow near the main trunk.
P. caerulea 'Constance Eliott' is less widespread and known than P. caerulea, but it deserves to be
considered more for its, in my opinion, better aesthetic qualities.