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Rare and exotic plants & seeds

Turquoise Puya

Passiflora membranacea

This is a rare offering of a new variegated form of Passiflora membranacea from the mountains of Guatemala.  Like the non-variegated form, it is a beautiful vine with dangling yellow blossoms topped with purplish bracts.  Its rounded leaves have nice variegation, with 3 bands of white streaks.  It is a challenging plant to grow, both for its large size and its need for cool yet sunny conditions.  I don't know any other source for fresh seeds.

Passiflora membranacea

It is a large vine that grows 50 feet long here in San Francisco.  It is very vigorous and can potentially smother nearby trees, so be careful where you grow it.  The variegation is the strongest on the first 10 to 15 feet of growth, and you may prune back the longer shoots to encourage more variegated new growth.  Mature leaves aren't quite as rounded as the non-variegated form, and the blooms are a slightly lighter shade of yellow.  The 3-inch blossoms appear mostly in spring and summer.  Their plum-colored bracts appear before the blooms open and remain long after the flowers drop, creating a great "party decoration" effect!  They are followed by huge yellow fruit that is edible but not very juicy.

Variegated Passiflora membranacea

The plant comes from higher elevations in Guatemala, where the climate is mild all year and nights are cool.  It has not been tested in warm climates, but it is probably heat-sensitive and might not flower if temperatures regularly climb above about 85 degrees F (30 degrees C), particularly if nights are warm.  It requires mostly sunny conditions in order to flower.  If given enough sun, it should bloom at 3-4 years old when grown from seed.  I don't know if it can handle more than a light frost, so i would keep it above 25 degrees F (-4 C).  Over about 40% humidity is best.

 

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Germination tips for this plant

 

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Turquoise Puya

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