Passiflora caerulea Passion Flower; Hardy; Brazil

Very vigorous plants that will need a framework of some kind for the tendrils to cling to as the plant develops. Foliage of five-lobed dull green leaves is not particularly attractive, but this is more than compensated for by the exotic flowers that were a religious symbol for early Christians. They saw in the petals the ten apostles of the Crucifixion, in the five anthers the five wounds, in the three stigmas the nails, in the purple rays of the corola the crown of thorns. In the tendrils they saw the cords and whips and the five-lobed leaves resembled the cruel hands of the persecutors. Given a light airy window position, a gritty, loamy soil and reasonable watering and light feeding these are fairly easy plants to care for. When too large for indoors they may be planted against a sheltered wall in the garden. in a warm propagator in a peat and sand mixture, or they may be raised from seed if seed can be obtained. By cross pollination of flowers you may be able to encourage your own plants to produce seed – the seed pod resembles a large oval-shaped green fruit and should be left on the plant until it turns yellow and actually splits open. It is quite an exciting experience to see the silk-like textured seed ‘parachutes’ slowly expand and eventually emerge from the seed pod.

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