Passiflora kermesina

Source: Hans B.

Passiflora kermesina

Passiflora kermesina is a Passiflora that hadn’t been found in the wild for a long time.

Some hybrids supposedly had Passiflora kermesina as one of the parents but it was only in 2001 that the plant was cultivated by Mauro Peixoto in Brazil and that it is now grown again.

The flower color varies slightly and is lighter than some old drawings and the name kermesina (bright red) led to think.

It looks very much like Passiflora loefgrenii but the bracts of Passiflora kermesina are much smaller, 2-2.5 cm below the base of the flower and soon deciduous.

Description:

Passiflora kermesina is a climber with slender, terete tendrils.

Leaves are three-lobed, up to 8 cm long and 11.3 cm wide, membranous, purple violet at the bottom, with a petiole up to 4 cm long.

Flowers are solitary on a peduncle of 8-15 cm long. The bracts are minute, 2-2.5 cm below the flower base, soon deciduous.

The flower is deep pink-purple to violet-pink, 8-9.5 cm in diameter. The sepals are bright pinkish-purple on the outside, dark pink-purple to pink-purple on the inside, oblong, 3.5-5.6 cm long and 0.5-1 cm wide.

Petals are deep pink-purple to violet-pink, about as large as the sepals.

Sepals and petals bend backward like most flowers that are pollinated by hummingbirds.

The corona consists of 5 series of filaments. The outer two series are 1.4 cm long, violet with a small paler violet to white band, the third series is 0.8 cm long, the fourth series is 0.6 cm long and the inner series is 1 cm long, light violet at the base, dark violet in the upper half.

Flowering takes place in the summer, when daytime temperatures will are around 25 °C.

The ovary is oblong-ovate, green.

The fruit is oblong-elliptic to ovate, olive-green when ripe, 7.5-9.5 cm long and 2.2-3 cm wide.

Nomenclature:

Common name:

Passionflower

Synonym:

Decaloba dentata, Decaloba kermesina, Passiflora dentata, Passiflora raddiana

Etymology:

Passiflora: from the Latin passio (Passion) and flos (flower)
Kermesina: from the Persian qermez (scarlet, crimson)

Origin:

Brazil

Habitat:

Coastal forests, on sandy soil

Hardiness:

Not known, probably USDA zone 10-11

Care:

Soil:

Tolerates a variety of soils

Water:

Keep substrate moist

Light:

Sun, partial shade

Feed:

Weekly liquid universal fertilizer during growth

Temperature:

Needs tropical temperatures all year, can be cultivated in the garden only in the tropics, needs a heated greenhouse elsewhere

Propagation:

Propagation by cuttings is very difficult, it is best sown.

Sowing instructions:

  • use preferably fresh seeds
  • scarify the seeds with sandpaper or sand
  • soak the seeds in water at room temperature for 24h
  • plant in sowing substrate, a 1 cm depth
  • provide soil heating and switch the heating off at night so that the temperature fluctuates
  • keep the substrate moist
  • do not discard the seeds if they have not germinated after a few months, it can take more than 6 months

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