Passiflora nephrodes | The Italian Collection of Maurizio Vecchia

Passiflora nephrodes, information, classification, temperatures. etymology of Passiflora nephrodes. Discover the Italian Passiflora Collection by Maurizio Vecchia.

Passiflora nephrodes | The Italian Collection of Maurizio Vecchia

Systematics (J. Macdougal et al., 2004)

SUBGENUS: passiflora
SECTION: granadillastrum


Eastern Peru up to western Bolivia, Amazon basin of Brazil above the 2.500 m of altitude. 




P. menispermifolia var. rosea


Name probably attributed for the shape of the leaves that recalls those of the kidney from the Greek νεφρός, nephrós, kindely and from εἷδος eídos, aspect: similar to the kidney, for the appearance or the color.



For many years now, it has been possible to cultivate this hairy passionflower with bizarre dark pink flowers, also sold in catalogues as P. menispermifolia var. rosea. Until the end of the 1980s, in fact, it was unavailable in Europe and, although interesting and decorative, was only mentioned in the main existing texts.

It grows decisively and blooms generously. It does not present particular cultivation problems and is also adaptable to growing in multipurpose soil in pots with a diameter of about 18-20 cm.

Its stems are sub-angular in cross-section. The leaves, from 6 to 13 cm long and 5 to 9 cm wide, are trilobate, with a prevalence, in length, of the acute lanceolate-shaped central lobe. The smaller lateral lobes have a deltoid shape.

The always frequent flowers have a diameter of about 8 cm. The sepals, fitted with a terminal spike, and the deep pink petals, are slightly retroflexed. The corona is sparse. It consists of a few series of filaments placed in a radial pattern, dark purple at the base and fading to white towards the apex, with alternating light and dark bands.

The ovary, unlike the related species, P. menispermifolia and P. hastata, is extremely hairy like the rest of the plant.

The ovoid fruit, green in colour, has a diameter of about 4 cm and a length of about 6 cm.

It is found in eastern Peru, western Bolivia and the Amazon region of Brazil, even at altitudes of around 2500 metres.

I reasonably believe that it may be relatively hardy (7-8°C). It should be tried out in the milder Italian climatic zones to check its adaptability.

It propagates easily from cuttings, a method that ensures plants that bloom promptly, even when they are small in size (50-60 cm in height).