GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION OR ORIGIN:
Eastern coasts Colombia to Guyane, Southern Peru, Brazil, Panama.
MINIMUM TEMPERATURE: 12 °C
IDEAL MINIMUM TEMPERATURE: 15 °C
SYNONYMS: P. nympheoides Karst.
P. nympheoides Karst.
ETYMOLOGY: From the Latin nitidus, bright, glossy, characteristic referring to the foliar lamina of this species.
From the Latin nitidus, bright, glossy, characteristic referring to the foliar lamina of this species.
NOTES: Chromosomes: n=9, 2n=18
Chromosomes: n=9, 2n=18
This passionflower, native to the forests of Colombia, southern Panama, Guyana, Peru and Brazil, where it lives up to an altitude of about 1500 m, has also been found in the Orinoco swamps, where it has adapted to growing in water.
It arouses much interest among collectors, mainly for the beauty of its flowers that have a diameter of about 10-11 cm. The retroflexed petals are bright white; the large, showy corona of curled filaments, facing in the opposite direction to that of the corolla, is, in contrast, decorated with violet, white and blue bands.
Its leathery leaves, shiny and bright on both surfaces, and ovate in shape with a sharp apex, reach 17 cm in length and 10 cm in width; due to their elegance, they also offer an element of great attraction.
Its fruits are decorative thanks to their orange colour with brown streaks.
The whole plant is hairless and its stems, like the leaves, are shiny and bright. The spherical fruits, with a diameter of about 4 cm, are edible and tasty.
P. nitida is easy to grow and adapts well to being kept in pots. However, it is not hardy, as it needs constant temperatures above 12°C. In winter it must therefore be placed in a greenhouse or indoors in a very well-lit position.
The ideal soil is rich but well-drained. It is necessary to ensure regular fertilisation during the period of greatest growth, and iron chelates should be used if chlorosis occurs due to excess limescale in the water. This is the only critical issue I have encountered when cultivating this passionflower.
Propagation can be done both from seed and from cuttings.