GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION OR ORIGIN:
From Guatemala to Costa Rica.
MINIMUM TEMPERATURE: 10 °C
IDEAL MINIMUM TEMPERATURE: 15 °C
ETYMOLOGY: From the Greek πλατύς (wide, flat, wide, large) characteristic of the lobes of the leaves.
From the Greek πλατύς (wide, flat, wide, large) characteristic of the lobes of the leaves.
The flowering of P. platyloba is among the most fragrant: the aroma of vanilla and violet blends with that of rose and cyclamen to create a unique bouquet.
The flower is surmounted by three large triangular green bracts, placed protectively like wings on some strange being. The corolla, light green in colour, is flecked with violet.
The corona of filaments, arranged in the shape of a cup and slightly curled, is coloured with violet and white bands. The flower, with a diameter of only 4-5 cm, hangs downward, supported by a light petiole weighed down by the petals and the robust, fleshy sepals.
The flower, similar to that of P. maliformis, has a richly coloured corona of filaments, while the retroflexed petals and sepals are a dominant green. Their dark violet punctuation, sparser at the base, breaks the monotony of the inconspicuous colouring.
The leaves of P. platyloba, usually trilobate and about 12-14 cm long, stand out precisely for their very broad base, which can reach up to 17-18 cm. On the other hand, some varieties have whole lanceolate leaves, with a pointed apex and a very large base and middle part. This detail allows one to easily distinguish P. platyloba from P. maliformis, which has narrower, sharper leaves.
Other differences include the colouring of the stems (green in P. platyloba and red in other similar species) and the shape of the petiole glands, which are more protruding – sessile – in P. platyloba.
This climber grows vigorously and robustly. It therefore requires a lot of space. Specimens kept in small pots or which are too young are unlikely to flower. Its ideal location is in a greenhouse where, if placed in a large pot, it will quickly form a large green and fragrant canopy.
It produces spherical fruits with a hard, resistant shell. The pulp is edible, although its taste is more acidic than that of P. maliformis.
It can be propagated from cuttings or seeds.