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Turquoise Puya

Passiflora luzmarina

This is a close look at the beautiful Passiflora luzmarina from the cool mountains of Ecuador.  This delightful vine becomes covered with graceful, pink blossoms that dangle from very long stems.  This is an endangered species that is almost gone in the wild due to habitat loss.  The plant is probably heat-sensitive, so it might not be suitable for gardeners in warm climates.  It's very rare in cultivation, and almost never seen for sale.

Passiflora luzmarina

It is a compact vine that is easy to control, looking great on a small trellis in a 2 gallon container.  At 3 inches long, the blooms are more petite than related Passifloras in the subgenus Tacsonia, but they appear in large numbers from spring through autumn.  Hummingbirds can't resist the pendant blooms.  After flowering, it makes unusual, reddish-orange fruit that is sweet & fragrant.  You may cross-breed this species with some other Passifloras to create great new hybrids like this one.

It comes from about 2500 meter elevation in the Andes, where temperatures are mild all year and nights are cool.  I don't know anyone growing it in a warm climate, but related species tend not to flower when temperatures get above the low 80s (28C).  It might not thrive in consistently hot conditions, particularly if nights are warm (above 65F / 18C).  I don't know if it can tolerate frost.  It flowers great for me in a half day of sun, and reportedly does well in shade.  I recommend giving it afternoon shade in warmer climates.  Like most Passifloras, it enjoys fertile, well-draining soil that's kept evenly moist.  Over about 40% humidity is best.  In the right conditions, it is easy to grow.

Passiflora luzmarina

 

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Turquoise Puya

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