GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION OR ORIGIN:
Guyane, Trinidad, northern Venezuela and the Amazon region of Peru.
MINIMUM TEMPERATURE: 10 °C
IDEAL MINIMUM TEMPERATURE: 15 °C
SYNONYMS: P. oblongifolia Pulle, P. tinifolia Juss.
P. oblongifolia Pulle, P. tinifolia Juss.
ETYMOLOGY: With leathery leaves similar to those of the laurel (Lat. laurus).
With leathery leaves similar to those of the laurel (Lat. laurus).
NOTES: Chromosomes: n=9, 2n=18
Chromosomes: n=9, 2n=18
Its decisive character is immediately seen in its leaves and bearing. P. laurifolia is, in fact, a large and dense climber with leathery, shiny and bright foliage. Its flowers also denote a strong personality through their wavy shape, bright colours and the intense scent they emanate. Its fruits are prized and traded in their areas of origin. It is therefore a passionflower to be researched and cultivated enthusiastically, although it requires space and assiduous care.
In fact, it does not adapt to small pots unless still small. To enhance its aesthetic qualities, it is necessary to prepare large containers, with a diameter of no less than 35 cm, and a sturdy castle of reeds at least 2 metres high, around which it can wrap itself at will. In this way, over time and with one's help, it will take on the appearance of a dense, impenetrable column of leaves. The shoots will trail elegantly, reaching the ground from where one can skilfully bring them back up.
In our climate, it is reluctant to bloom: it does so only if it has reached an adequate size and has been grown at a relatively high temperature. The soil must be rich and, in summer, regularly fertilised, using liquid fertiliser mixed with the irrigation water. This operation is essential if you want to enhance the intense green colour of the foliage.
If one is patient, one will later also be able to see its strange flowers. They hang from a long stalk, dangling downward. Three large light green bracts hide the petals and sepals, leaving protruding only the large corona of intense violet filaments which, at the base, have alternating light and dark bands against the same shade of colours. The petals and sepals are blue-white. The flower has a diameter of 6-8 cm.
P. laurifolia is also interesting for its fruits which, in addition to their decorative yellow-orange colour, are edible and of excellent quality. They have an elongated ovoid shape and reach 8 cm in length and 4 cm in width. They are eaten fresh or used to flavour drinks and cocktails. In pot-grown specimens, fruiting does not occur spontaneously and must be assisted through manual pollination of the flowers.
P. laurifolia reproduces easily if fresh seeds are used, but it can also be propagated using cuttings rooted in a humidity-saturated environment and at a minimum temperature of 25°C.