Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Last year I started several plants of Passiflora arida from seed given to me by my buddy ogecko, a.k.a. The Larry. Most people consider passifloras to be good growers, but this has to be one of the best. In a 2.5" cup the seedling vines got as long as 3 or 4 feet of reaching, grasping growth before being repotted into a nice big community pot with a tomato-cage gym. Even during the winter the plant continued to grow, attempting to take over my living room drapes in the process. They've been outside for a few weeks now and have responded well with a flush of new growth, production of a little anthocyanin blush, and the first buds and flowers!
Like many passifloras, arida is a delicate looking flower. Size is approximately 2.5 to 3 inches. But the filigree cage around the bud is a little more unusual. This bears some resemblance to similar structures on P. foetida, but is somewhat less branched, and has the presence of many tiny trichomes (hairs) whereas foetida appears to have larger glandular trichomes or perhaps nectaries (I've never seen one in person so I'm going on photo data). In fact, the entire plant of arida is covered with tiny hairs, except the flowers, which have a bald glory.
Speaking of foetida, The Larry tells me that the two species are related. I find this believable since the arida plant as a bit of BO, and "foetida" basically means "stinky." I did not test the flowers.
Now that its flowering, perhaps I can arrange for seeds to share with everyone!