Passiflora giveaway: 'Preciosa' cuttings plus Passiflora membranacea seeds
My Passiflora 'Preciosa' desperately needs to be cut back--I plan to do it Sunday. If anyone can get any use out of some of the cuttings, I can send about 10 nodes (or possibly more, depending on interest). 2 nodes is enough to root a new plant, and they root in water. There's a good chance I will end up trimming them back before shipping, as the square stems are thick and often do not bend easy to fit into a box.
P. 'Preciosa' is P. macrocarpa 'Blue Moon' x P. alata (hybridizer Henk Wouters). Everything about the plant is big--the vine, the leaves, the flowers and the fruit. The flowers are very strongly and pleasantly scented as well, and are a bit "spicy". The scent is strong enough that I smelled it immediately when I opened the door the first day there were 3 open flowers, 15 feet away.
The fruit is edible and tasty, however it requires cross pollination. Many different Passifloras work; I expect that would include P. caerulea, for example. The rind is thick so I would not expect a huge harvest of juice. Fruits also take at least 4 months to mature, and the flowers tend to bloom in the Fall. In other words, they would ripen over winter.
The plant grows fine outside all year in my climate, which is frost free, and reasonably cool/mild all year (75/55 in Summer). The plant also does well in warmer climates such as Florida. Passifloras of this type tend to be hardy to only about 30 F. I'm not sure if a cutting would have time to grow enough to bloom this Fall. Next year is probably a better bet.
Here's the flower:
And an unripe fruit:
Problem: The plant has a history of mealybug infestation--they seem to love this hybrid, and the Argentine ants help by farming the insects. Luckily, the leaves and stems are thick and almost rubbery. I'll treat cuttings with isopropranol before sending and I would encourage recipients to do the same, and watch for the pests.
Passiflora membranacea seeds:
These are of the variegated variety. Someone on Ebay last week sold 7 for $45. These are the same seeds. I'll send 15. I would caution that these are cool growers and can likely only be grown outside in Coastal California (Sunset zones 15-17, 22-23 (parts) and 24). They also have a record of taking 8 years or so to bloom from seed. So unless one is extremely patient (and in the right climate), these are best grown for the leaves. The plants also get monstrous.
Here's a seedling, a year or so old, that I gave to a friend:
And here's a mature plant at the SF Botanical Garden, with a normal sized adult person next to it. The bare vines hanging down are really all that's visible.
I also still have P. edulis seeds of a couple sorts, whose viability I'm not aware of... Passiflroa seeds can be slow (months...).
I think cuttings plus seeds should ship for a pound, which by Priority Mail is $7.15 or a few cents less to destinations closer to California.
I should have enough for as many as 5 people.