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Turquoise Puya

Passiflora parritae

The holy grail of passionflowers, Passiflora parritae is as rare as it is beautiful.  Possibly extinct in the wild, this species is almost never seen for sale.  Its stunning flowers might be the largest of all Passifloras.  This cool-climate species is not for everyone, but for those who can provide the right conditions, it is a delightful treasure.  At least enjoy the photos!

Passiflora parritae

Passiflora parritae comes from the mountain forests of Colombia.  It blooms most months of the year here in San Francisco.  The blooms are 5-6 inches wide, and are an exquisite shade of peachy-orange.  The flower tubes are unusually long, as are the stems.  These enable the blooms to swing in the breeze, which attracts its pollinator, a local species of hummingbird.  Unfortunately the hummingbird has moved to higher elevations due to climate warming, leaving Passiflora parritae to dwindle in numbers without a pollinator.   It is now critically endangered, and possibly gone in the wild.

Passiflora parritae

Like most other Passifloras in the Tacsonia group, this one is heat-sensitive, and will drop its blooms if temperatures climb into the 90s (>32C).  If you happen to live along the coast of California, the vine should do well outdoors.  Elsewhere, it will probably need to be grown in a climate-controlled room, preferably below 80 degrees F (27C), with nights below 65 F (18C).  The vine normally climbs through trees, where it can choose how much sun it gets.  You may grow it along a large trellis, provided that it gets some protection from strong afternoon sun.  It can probably survive a few degrees of light frost, but it's best to protect it from all frost.

Passiflora parritae

Passiflora parritae

Unfortunately, fake seeds of Passiflora parritae are occasionally seen for sale.  I guarantee that mine is the genuine Passiflora parritae.

 

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Detailed growing tips about this plant

 

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Turquoise Puya

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