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Turquoise Puya

Passiflora matthewsii alba

This is a close look at the rare Passiflora mathewsii alba from the cool mountains of Peru.  This attractive vine is covered with graceful, pure-white blossoms that are displayed horizontally from the vine.  Their cup shaped corolla somewhat resembles a tulip on a long tube.  They appear non-stop from spring through autumn.  Unfortunately the plant is probably heat-sensitive, so it might not be suitable for gardeners in warm climates.  This form is very rare in cultivation.  I don't know anyone currently offering seeds.

Passiflora mathewsii alba

It is a vigorous, spreading vine, although it may be pruned to a small size if desired.  It makes a dense mat of attractive leaves that would look great along a trellis or arbor.  The flowers of most other Passifloras in the subgenus Tacsonia hang downward, but these are held sideways, for ease of access to bees & butterflies.  The blooms are 3 to 4 inches long including the tube.  After flowering, it makes fragrant, oval fruit that is both tart and sweet.  The plant may be cross-bred with some related Passifloras to create new hybrids.

Passiflora luzmarina

It comes from higher elevations in the Andes mountains, where temperatures are mild or cool all year, and nights are cool.  I don't know anyone growing it in a warm climate, but related Passifloras tend not to flower when temperatures rise 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 likes mostly-sunny conditions.  Some afternoon shade may be needed 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's an easy vine.

 

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Germinating the seeds

 

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Turquoise Puya

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