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Turquoise Puya

Passiflora boenderi

This is the coolest Passiflora!  Passiflora boenderi is an exotic rarity with unusual, bat-shaped leaves with stunning variegation.  The flowers are certainly pretty, but i grow this plant strictly for the foliage.  This species has one of the most beautiful leaves of any Passiflora.  This is a new Costa Rican species that is extremely rare in the wild, and rarely seen for sale in the U.S.

Passiflora boenderi is a vigorous vine with two-lobed leaves from 3 to 6 inches long.  The front of each leaf has a base color of deep, velvety green, while the backside is a gorgeous burgundy-purple!  The lightning-bolt variegation down each lobe is generally silvery-white, but it can range from lime-green to purplish!  Those yellow and orange dots that run down the leaves serve to mimic butterfly eggs.  They trick butterflies into thinking that eggs were already laid there, so they don't lay more - otherwise the caterpillars will devour the leaves!  The flowers are just under an inch long, and while they are not big, they appear in large numbers throughout the year.  This species has good breeding potential with related Passiflora species, to create new hybrids.

Passiflora boenderi

Passiflora boenderi comes from mid-elevations in Costa Rica.  This is a tropical species that is happiest above 60 degrees.  It reportedly does not do well below 50 degrees, however it grows great indoors.  You may grow it in a pot and let it cover a trellis with its fabulous leaves.  It seems to prefer bright, indirect light or dappled sun.  I don't know how much prolonged, direct sun it can handle.  Like most Passifloras, it is a fast grower that enjoys moist, well draining soil, regular feeding, and some humidity.  In the right conditions, it's a very easy plant!

Passiflora boenderi

 

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Turquoise Puya

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