GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION OR ORIGIN:
From central Mexico to Venezuela, central-southern Peru, northern Bolivia.
MINIMUM TEMPERATURE: 10 °C
IDEAL MINIMUM TEMPERATURE: 15 °C
SYNONYMS: P. serratistipula DC.
P. serratistipula DC.
ETYMOLOGY: Referring to the glands of the stem shaped like a tongue (Lat. ligula, tongue).
Referring to the glands of the stem shaped like a tongue (Lat. ligula, tongue).
NOTES: Chromosomes: n=9, 2n=18
Chromosomes: n=9, 2n=18
Among the best fruits produced by passionflowers are certainly those of P. ligularis. It has been possible to find them in Italy for some time now. As well as having an excellent flavour, they are also decorative with their bright orange, perfectly spherical shape (diameter of about 8-9 cm). They are often included in "gift arrangements" for sale during the Christmas period. The pulp inside is fragrant and sweet, and contains numerous seeds that are easy to germinate.
Obtaining new plants is therefore easy, even if they are unlikely to bear fruit. P. ligularis is short-lived in Italy, and after a few years will begin to show signs of suffering due to unsuitable temperatures and, perhaps, also due to the composition and pH of the potting soil normally used. Continuous watering with calcareous water, in the long run, make the soil too alkaline for the needs of this chlorosis-sensitive climber.
In nature, it lives up to 3000 metres above sea level in the mountains ranging from Mexico to Bolivia. For this reason, it cannot stand the torrid heat of summer and must be grown in cool, shady areas.
P. ligularis is a robust, vigorous climber, completely hairless, with stems and heart-shaped leaves of a blue-green colour. The leaves (about 15 cm in length and 12 cm in width) have a very broad base and end with a sharp apex. The petiole has 3 or 4 pairs of thin ligulate glands about 8-10 mm long.
The flowers, with a diameter of 10 cm, are showy. The uniform greenish white sepals are singularly retroflexed. The petals, also turned backwards, are instead decorated with dense purple punctuation that becomes sparser at the base. The same colour is present in the large corona protruding forward and formed by 6 or 7 series of filaments. The filaments present alternating light and dark bands up to the ends, which are white, thinned and slightly curled.
This passionflower must be grown in clayey soil to which peat and sand have been added to ensure better drainage. To get sturdy, large plants, in the hope of seeing them in bloom, you need to use deep pots. In winter, it must be sheltered in a greenhouse or in the home at temperatures not below 12-13°C.
Propagation can be achieved both through cuttings and seeds.