GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION OR ORIGIN:
From Guatemala to Costa Rica.
MINIMUM TEMPERATURE: 10 °C
IDEAL MINIMUM TEMPERATURE: 12 °C
ETYMOLOGY: Designation of geographical origin. This species is widespread in Costa Rica in particular.
Designation of geographical origin. This species is widespread in Costa Rica in particular.
NOTES: Chromosomes: n=6, 2n=12.
Chromosomes: n=6, 2n=12.
The large, shaggy, deep green leaves are the main attraction of this passionflower. They are curious, in fact, both for their shape and their thick tomentose covering.
They are bilobate, like most of those belonging to the supersection Decaloba, section Xerogona, but develop generously in width so as to look like a circle from which the surface between an arc of the circle and the chord that subtends it has been removed. Three ribs stiffen the blade; of these, one lies centrally while the other two run towards the apices of the lateral lobes. The leaves are of considerable size in relation to the plant's height: in fact, they reach 12-13 cm in width and 10-11 cm in length. The whole plant is equally shaggy, has triangular cross-sectioned stems and produces small whitish flowers with a diameter of about 4-5 cm.
It has been found over a vast area, from Mexico to Colombia.
In Italy, it is a pot plant due to its limited hardiness. In winter, it requires a minimum temperature of 12-13°C, too high for any Italian climatic zone.
To obtain an intense green colour it is necessary to cultivate it in rich soil, fertilising it regularly during the vegetative growth phase. Frequent leaf spraying is also useful. In fact, it suffers and will tend to yellow in an over-dry atmosphere.
It is very sensitive to root nematodes which create irreversible damage in a short time. I, therefore, recommend never placing the pot in which it is grown in direct contact with the soil or, even worse, burying it.
Propagation is very easy from cuttings, but even seeds removed from its ellipsoidal fruits will offer sure results.