Riverside Hybrids


The very rare P. gracilens

P. gracilens. Image © 2004 Christian Bravard


  Passiflora Passion flower Identification/ID

  Q Can you ID my Passion flower/Passiflora for me? 

  A I can try but better still is to join the Passiflora Facebook Group and ask over 1000 people!

The most likely ID questions are:-

P. alata/ P. x decaisneana/ P. phoenicea or P. quadrangularis?

Passiflora 'Amethyst' Often known incorrectly as P. 'Lavender Lady'.

Passiflora caerulea The Common Passion Flower.

Passiflora 'Constance Eliott' The Common Passion Flower (white flower).

Passiflora incarnata or P. 'Incense' To distinguish P. incarnata from P. 'Incense' is very easy. P. incarnata always has its petiole glands (little bumps) at the end of the petiole, hard up against the leaf as shown here. It usually has three lobed leaves but may have five. P. 'Incense' has a pair of petiole glands half way up the petiole and usually has five lobed leaves but occasionally three.

Passiflora x violacea A group of very similar crosses go under this name.

  Q It's not one of the above so how can I identify it? 

  A There are over 576 known species and over 700 named hybrids. Accordingly ID from leaf shape alone is rarely reliable. So be patient if possible and wait until your plant flowers before asking for ID. Then at minimum send a picture or link showing the whole leaf and its petiole & the flower. The petiole is the bit of stem that connects the leaf to the plant. The petiole glands are little bumps/stalks, as shown above, that secrete nectar. They are very useful to help ID. See Passiflora 'Amethyst' for an example of a good range of pictures.

  Dr. Peter Møller Jørgensen comments,

''One of the reason botanist want specimens is so that we can see all characters and not just what the photographer decided to show. A friend of mine said that the back side of the flower has in general many more characters than the front, but nobody photographs it... Think about it, take many photographs from several angles, and we will have a much easier job of identifying the plants. That is if you do not want to send us a specimen...''

  Q Can you ID this seed for me? 

  A See seed images. For expert seed ID I recommend Dr John Vanderplank. The best thing to do of course is to germinate it.

  Q I am not sure if my plant is labelled correctly? 

  A Passiflora often have incorrect identification even by reputable nurseries & websites. Even experts sometimes struggle with rare or very similar species. Plants and especially seed from eBay can also throw up a few surprises! Never buy hybrid seed from whatever source, it may be from the hybrid as described but will probably not come up the same as it and is likely to be inferior. Hybrids should always be bought as plants which are grown from cuttings from the original plant.