GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION OR ORIGIN:
MINIMUM TEMPERATURE: 15 °C
IDEAL MINIMUM TEMPERATURE: 20 °C
ETYMOLOGY: From the cherry red colour of the corolla (Lat. cerasinus, cherry colour).
From the cherry red colour of the corolla (Lat. cerasinus, cherry colour).
The registration of this new and splendid species dates back to 1997, corresponding in type to that collected the same year in French Guiana (Kaw mountain, at an altitude of about 100 m). Hilaire Annonay claims to have already found it the previous year in Suriname, on Mount Brownsberg, at an altitude of about 500 m.
It was classified within the subgenus Passiflora in the supersection Laurifolia for its outer corona being characteristically shorter than the others. In this case, it is even elegantly retroflexed in the direction of the petals.
The colours of the hanging flower, with a diameter of about 8-9 cm, are warm and bright. They range from the decisive and dominant cherry of the sepals and petals, to the white and violet of the large corona.
The sepals have a squat, soft quill at the apex, tinged with yellow. The petals are folded towards the petiole and are curved like a spoon along their longitudinal axis. Three large red bracts remain half-hidden by this imposing corolla, but will emerge to cover the growing fruit after flowering.
The corona is beautiful in its alternating red, violet and white hues, together forming elegant, singular bands. The filaments, with the exception of the first series, appear to form a large bell which hides the androgynophore. The whole flower is an authentic work of natural art.
The ripe fruit is pear-shaped, dark reddish in colour with green speckles.
P. cerasina, in
nature, is a large, robust liana with broad elliptical, pointed-tipped leaves.
It is difficult to cultivate badly, adapting to life in the greenhouse where it
needs at least 15°C. My hope is that, by studying it and getting to know it
better, we too can see it flourish and bear fruit. It is currently available
from specialist nurseries.