P. Gritensis, P. Umbilicata, and P. 'Crimson Tears'

misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)August 18, 2007

I've been reading my two new passiflora books, absorbing as much of the information about them as I can. Aren't passionflowers gorgeous AND interesting?!

I'm very interested in ordering the three above named passionvines. Have any of you grown them? How do they do in the humid southeast? How cold tolerant are they? How heat tolerant are they? Do they prefer full sun, part sun or shade? Have you grown any hybrids with p. gritensis and/or p. umbilicata as one of the parents that grow better for you than the species? And, very importantly for me, have you ever found caterpillars on them? Do the cats thrive?



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Of the 3 you mentioned I only have the Crimson Tears. I'm in zone 7 and have to winter them over inside but our summers are extremely hot and humid. My CT is growing well and is in full sun for a good part of the day. I originally planted passies several years ago in the hopes of attracting Gulf Fritts. That never happened but I fell in love with the plant and began collecting different varieties. To this day I still haven't had any cats on my passies or my aristolochias but the plants look great! lol

    Bookmark   August 18, 2007 at 10:34AM
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chena(z8 Texas)

I have the CT and Umbilicata..CT same conditions as Karyn's but it is about stripped right now and just starting to get some new foliage funny thing I have a Platyloba about 8 ft from it and not missing a single leaf...The Umbilicata is new for me this yr. I have had it on the porch MS/ASH.. doing great and putting on lots of new growth.. It is hotter than hell and humid here ... this one doesn't seem to mind it a bit..P.Gritensis.. I only wish I had it...LOL

    Bookmark   August 18, 2007 at 12:16PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Thanks so much, Karyn and Chena!
I thought the CT would be okay for the cats, but I just wanted to be sure - all passionvines are NOT equal as far as gulf frits are concerned. There are reportedly some passionvines that have recurved hairs on the undersides of their leaves that can kill the cats. I've got lots of p. incarnata that they prefer, but they have laid eggs on my 'Lady Margaret' and are doing well, although not growing as fast as they do on p. incarnata. I've also gotten a few cats on my p. 'Incense' - they haven't used p. biflora yet, they only use that in a pinch! I'm fortunate enough to have jillions of GF cats, Karyn, also lots of pipevine swallowtails on my North American aristolochias. PVSs and GFs are my favorite butterflies!
Any more comments would be appreciated. Grassy Knoll's website says that p. gritensis is hard to grow, so I'm thinking one of the hybrids might be better.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2007 at 12:28PM
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I've heard that red passion vines can be harmful to cats. I guess not all of them are if they are laying eggs and feeding on your Lady Margaret. I know the antioquensis is supposedly difficult to grow in high heat and humidity. I had a few that I started from seed but lost due to disease or squirrels. I think any of the vines that are native to the cool upper elevations are difficult here, or anywhere that's hot and humid. I also have problems with my sanguinea brugs. They grow but don't floweer here.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2007 at 2:46PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Lady Margaret is one of the few red-flowering passis that GFs thrive on. I imagine it's because p. incarnata is one parent, and the chemistry in the leaves is much like p. incarnata, not p. coccinea, the other parent - the leaves are three-lobed like p. incarnata, not entire like p. coccinea. The flowers have actually been influenced by p. incarnata's blue/purple color, too, because they're not true red like p. coccinea, but burgundy, at least mine are.
I love the look of the tacsonias, but they come from the cool upper elevations you speak of, so unless I get some seed for p. tarminiana, one that's supposed to grow alright in the heat, I won't be trying them. P. tarminiana is an invasive weed in Hawaii, according to what I've read and what Passionflow said, but I think the few light freezes we get here in winter would be enough to keep them in check. I haven't been able to find a source for p. tarminiana seeds, unless the pink mollisima seeds available from Georgia Vines are actually p. tarminiana.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2007 at 3:23PM
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jblaschke(8b TX)

I've got some young Crimson Tears cuttings that seem to have all taken, so I'll be able to tell you how they handle hot Texas summers next year. They're too small to move out there at this point, and they'll have to be overwintered.

Gritensis, as I understand it, is difficult to grow in large part to its aversion to bright light. Someday I hope to get one and try my hand at it--my office at work has moderate light levels, stable temperatures, and my citrina seems to do fine there, so why not gritensis?

    Bookmark   August 20, 2007 at 3:53PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

I think it's worth a try, Jayme! I live in the woods, so I've got lots of areas with really deep shade, including right by the house. I was planning on eventually planting the p. gritensis or one of its hybrids in the deep shade on the west side of my house - if it doesn't work, what have I lost? Just money! :)
It looks like my p. biflora cuttings are taking, I'll let you know.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2007 at 9:31PM
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Hi MissSherry,

From what I've read about P. gritensis, it is a shade plant in its native habitat, and also cannot tolerate temps above the low 80s. It apparently prefers cool temps, with night time dips to the 50s. It might be possible to grow it inside during the summer, and put it outside during the fall, winter and spring (with freeze protection of course). But apparently almost no one in the U.S. has gritensis plants, and I've only seen one for sale on ebay. I've never seen seeds for sale either, which makes me think that the clones in cultivation all derive from the same cutting that someone was lucky enough to keep alive until it rooted. It is available in Europe, along with a number of other passies that we can't get here in the U.S. (very frustrating).

So the hybrids are definitely the way the go. I have an Anastasia (gritensis x caerulea 'Constance Elliot') that I got from Grassy Knolls, and it is nearly 8 feet long now (with no side shoots). I am growing it under a covered patio to keep it in the shade and out of the 90 degree temps. It seems to like that spot. Pink Festival is another gritensis hybrid (gritensis x amethystina, I think) that I was considering--it looks nearly identical to Anastasia, and they both look nearly identical to gritensis. And according to the Grassy Knolls website, both are relatively easy to grow.

Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   August 27, 2007 at 1:32AM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Thanks, Mark!
My gut told me that p. gritensis wouldn't do here, so I ordered 'Anastasia' from GK also - I plan on growing it in a pot for a while, and then planting in the shady spot I mentioned, probably next spring, I don't know.
I also ordered p. loefgrenii, p. reflexiflora, and p. 'Victoria' from GK with my 'Anastasia' - I can't wait to get them! I also plan to grow them in pots and move them around to different spots before I plant them out, so I can get an idea what type situation they prefer. I also ordered 4 p. incarnata albas from another source - I don't have any white-flowering passis, and I'd rather have p. incarnata, because the gulf frits much prefer it to p. caerulea.
That should give me plenty of new passis! :)

    Bookmark   August 27, 2007 at 9:56AM
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