blue passion flower
This pastel-flowered passion flower, a subtle mixture of warm-blue petals shaded in maroon and green, will straddle a low south-facing roof or porch and produce edible orange fruit
- Position: full sun or partial shade
- Soil: moderately fertile, moist, well-drained soil
- Rate of growth: fast-growing
- Flowering period: July to September
- Hardiness: frost hardy (will need winter protection in cold areas)
A really exotic-looking plant, with large white flowers and central filaments of purple, blue and white from July to September, followed by egg-shaped, orange-yellow fruit. The leaves are pretty, too; deeply lobed, dark green and glossy. This blue passion flower is a vigorous, trouble-free climber that thrives in hot summers and will quickly cover a sunny wall or fence. Ideal for a tropical planting scheme, it grows best at the base of a sheltered wall in full sun, although it will tolerate some shade. The fruit are edible, but not very tasty!
Passion flowers are believed to represent the suffering of Christ on the cross and the mysteries of the Passion. The 17th century monastic scholar, Jacomo Bosio, describes 'the column rising in the centre of the flower surrounded by the thorn of crowns (and) the three nails at the top of the column. In between, near the base of the column is a yellow colour about the size of a reale, in which there are five spots or stains (stamens) of the hue of blood evidently setting forth five wounds received by our Lord on the cross.'
- Garden care: Choose three to five of the strongest shoots, tying them in to horizontal wires. Once the plant is established, cut back the flowered shoots immediately after flowering to within two or three buds of the permanent framework of the plant. In spring remove dead, misplaced or overcrowded stems.
- Harmful if eaten
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