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Interesting or cheap local sources for Passifloras in your area?

Posted by mark4321 9b CA Sunset 17 (My Page) on
Tue, Jul 17, 12 at 11:39

Since most of the discussion on sources has been for mail order sources, I thought it would be interesting if people knew of good sources for plants in their local areas.

I'm in the SF Bay Area, where a variety of Passifloras can be found if one looks in the right places.

Recently, I found a new source I thought I should mention--ProBuild Garden Center in Santa Cruz. I found these plants about a week ago, when they were having a sale on plants from Annie's Annuals. Perhaps they still are. I think their Annie's plants (perennials) are normally $5, but they were having a sale of 2 for $8. I bought these two plants in 4 inch pots: Passiflora loefgrenii and Passiflora actinia:

Passiflora loefgrenii and actinia in Santa Cruz

These are cheaper than at Annie's retail nursery in Richmond, where each of those is $9.95, I think. ProBuild also had P. citrina, if I remember correctly. In one gallon pots they had nice P. 'Purple Tiger' and P. jamesonii/'Coral Seas', each about $10. I think they probably had others.

One of the best sources in the area is Strybing Arboretum (SF Botanical Garden), which has monthly sales (link at bottom). Carlos Rendon brought in an amazing piece of his P. 'Mission Dolores' vine (P. parritae x antioquiensis), and I assume he sold a couple plants. If he had any I'm sure they went quickly.

Passiflora 'Mission Dolores' at Strybing

Most of their Passifloras are $15 in 1 gallon pots, and they usually have a big variety. I did go to a sale or two where they weren't selling any, though. I bought a P. antioquiensis for $15. I don't have a picture of it, and it got damaged by the sun/heat sometime probably in transit home. Here's a picture I took of a P. antioquiensis at the sale in April:

Passiflora antioquiensis at Strybing in April

Here is a link that might be useful: Strybing (SF Botanical Garden) sale schedule


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Interesting or cheap local sources for Passifloras in your ar

Randy just go ahead and rub it in. lol Once in a blue moon I'll see a passion vine at a local nursery and it's usually an incarnata or a caerulea. I found an untagged P. belotii at Home Depot several years ago but nothing since. Pepper's in DE is a couple hours away and they usually have a few varieties of passifloras but nothing exciting. That antio is beautiful. It would last about 5 minutes in our heat. It's 103 in my backyard right now and that's not in direct sun. It's probably hotter out front.


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RE: Interesting or cheap local sources for Passifloras in your ar

Hi Karyn,

Yeah we are spoiled, both in terms of plant availability and climate. Today our high was 71. However, a few years ago in my previous location with an only slightly warmer climate, my first (or second?) P. 'Mission Dolores' flower fried in 104 heat, which also killed my first P. antioquiensis bud. One customer at the sale who grows these plants was complaining that even San Francisco is too warm for P. antioquiensis as he has lost his plants in sudden brief heat waves.

I have to say I was amazed by the $4 plants. I almost felt like I should have picked up a few extra.

I would encourage anyone in the Bay Area to attend the Strybing sales. They are surprisingly small, and some of the real experts are there. The whole atmosphere is extremely laid back and helpful. Besides people like Carlos, the PSI (Passiflora Society International) President and Treasurer (Eric and Crystal) also showed up as customers, and they are frequently at the sales. It's a great place to learn very quickly if you are so inclined--and get some of the best plants for very cheap. This extends to many other plants besides just Passifloras, of course.

My P. 'Mission Dolores' plant is in the ground and starting to grow vigorously... I hate to toss material for cuttings, and I will see if I can make it (as rooted cuttings--it's easy to propagate) available to at least those who have the conditions to grow it, admittedly a small number. Perhaps I can arrange a substitute (immediately likely loefgrenii x caerulea and/or maybe eventually loefgrenii) for those who can't grow P. 'Mission Dolores'. I'll try to follow up in a couple months.


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RE: Interesting or cheap local sources for Passifloras in your ar

Oh, Randy - you do like to show off, don't you?!! LOL You can send me all your extra cuttings!


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RE: Interesting or cheap local sources for Passifloras in your ar

I keep an eye on the local Asian grocery. They have a section up at the front where they occasionally have passionfruit vines, citrus, dragon fruit plants, and other things the local Asian population enjoys growing. Some times they are labeled clearly with scientific names; other times, it may just be a hand-written label with a name in Vietnamese or Korean, and sometimes in English, and a price. I'm pretty sure I picked up a big P. edulis plant - but I'm going to have to see it flower to be sure. I skipped a P. quadrangularis last summer, because I figured they'd have another one... no such luck, so far.

Also, our Home Depots sometimes have passionflower vines; they are often amusingly mis-labeled (like P. vitifolia being labeled P. caerulea, which is funny to me, in a sort of plant-geek-y way, seeing a red flower labeled in Latin 'blue passionflower'), and the selection varies a lot from store to store. I've seen lots of vitifolia, some Amethyst, some belotii, lots of 'Incense' and some edulis. I am mostly wanting the hardy varieties to plant in the ground, but I'm willing to get a couple of fun tropicals and baby them through the winter.

Here is a link that might be useful: My blog - adventures in silkworms, chickens, gardening, passionflowers, etc.


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RE: Interesting or cheap local sources for Passifloras in your ar

Speaking of mislabeling at Home Depot, here's something I saw yesterday:

Philodendron  Staghorn Fern

I almost find it as strange to call a staghorn fern a houseplant in our climate as to call it a "Philodendron"

One of the $4 Passifloras, P. loefgrenii, that I picked up in Santa Cruz has its first flower. I think it's time to repot it or put it in the ground:

Passiflora loefgrenii from Santa Cruz

Passiflora loefgrenii from Santa Cruz closeup


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RE: Interesting or cheap local sources for Passifloras in your ar

I just wanted to update with a picture of the flowers and buds on what was the $4 P. loefgrenii. The plant is now in a 2 gallon pot. What is surprising me the most is the length of the peduncles; the longest (bud in the center) is about 11 inches long. I thought P. loefgrenii maxed out at 7 or 8 inches.

Passiflora loefgrenii buds and bloom showing long peduncles

The plant is climbing a Rojasianthe, which I think is in a 5 gallon pot.


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RE: Interesting or cheap local sources for Passifloras in your ar

Randy I hadn't seen the mislabeled HD pot until today. That was a good one, philo/staghorn. They aren't even close!


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RE: Interesting or cheap local sources for Passifloras in your ar

Those are gorgeous! I'm a fan of Annie's - their online ordering isn't bad when they have a sale going for those of us in other locales.

I'm trying a "banana passion fruit" from Baker Creek from seed, we'll see how that goes, lol.


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RE: Interesting or cheap local sources for Passifloras in your ar

Edited: darn double post. But Almost Eden is another good place to get cheap passies and other cool exotics.

This post was edited by Nola_Nigella on Sun, Dec 30, 12 at 10:51


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RE: Interesting or cheap local sources for Passifloras in your ar

Nola_Nigella,

If you are from New Orleans (as your name might suggest), I suspect you will have difficulties with P. tarminiana (aka "Passiflora mollisima" or banana Passion flower). All of the Taconias (tarminiana, antioquiensis, parritae, manicata, mixta, pinnatistipula, etc.) are cool growers from the Andes. I've heard that P. tarminiana is more heat tolerant than some, but I've also never heard of anyone getting fruit in the Deep South. I've actually asked several times on this forum if anyone knows of anyone succeeding with ANY Tacsonia outside in the Deep South. I haven't heard of a single example, although I'd love to.

The seed companies and online nurseries need to be honest about this. Very few are. I notice that Georgia Vines says (shouts) in all caps: "THIS PLANT WILL NOT LIVE IN HIGH HEAT AND HUMIDITY. PLEASE DON'T ORDER IF YOU HAVE THESE CONDITIONS."

I attached a photo of the less common white form of P. tarminiana thriving in the cool moist climate at Strybing Arboretum in San Francisco.

Here is a link that might be useful: Georgia Vine's P. mollissima listing

This post was edited by mark4321 on Mon, Dec 31, 12 at 2:31


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RE: Interesting or cheap local sources for Passifloras in your ar

Randy, you are an encyclopedia of plant knowledge!!!


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RE: Interesting or cheap local sources for Passifloras in your ar

I've bought quite a few nice plants from Almost Eden. I've only purchased one passie from them and it was mislabeled but they did send the correct plant as soon as I notified them.


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RE: Interesting or cheap local sources for Passifloras in your ar

Karyn, the price for plants at mail order nurseries is ridiculous! Add shipping and handling to that - outrageous! I will do without - we need to start a cuttings nursery and sell/make a fortune based on REAL costs.


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RE: Interesting or cheap local sources for Passifloras in your ar

Most of the vendors I buy passies from I think are pretty reasonable. They have to make a living too, and when a nursery is your main source of income you have to take into account the cost of running a business. Waste can be especially high with a perishable product. I do agree that shipping costs can get out of hand, even with vendors that reasonably mark up their product. I try to make sure I'm placing a good size order to make the shipping charges worth it. There are some vendors that seriously overcharge but I wouldn't buy from any of them and I don't think they last long in the business anyway.


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RE: Interesting or cheap local sources for Passifloras in your ar

Back to cuttings. I do wish that the botanical gardens would make the cuttings and seeds they prune available to the public or at least their members. I can see their charging a negligible amount in addition to reasonable postage for the time and supplies involved with processing the ccuttings and seeds. We recently had a similar discussion on the adenium forum.

The National Arboretum is one of DH's clients and I know they just compost and trash what they prune from their plants and dispose of most of the seeds. There's many of us that would love it if their scaps were made available and it might even be a way to raise funds for the gardens. It's also a way to make sure that certain plants continue to be grown by individuals.


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RE: Interesting or cheap local sources for Passifloras in your ar

Although $10-$20 for a Passiflora plant (rooted cutting) might seem like a lot, it really doesn't add up quickly for a small specialty grower. It's useful to do the math and see how many plants one might have to grow and sell to make a reasonable living. Let's say, hypothetically, one can make a profit of $5 on each plant after paying for greenhouse heating, water, fertilizer, soil, pots, pesticides, permits... To make $50,000 a year works out to 10,000 plants a year. Is there even the demand for this many? And let's say they can ship Monday and Tuesday, 50 weeks a year. That works out to 100 shipping days for those 10,000 plants, or 100 plants per day for that person who tries to make a living doing this. Is that even possible?

The small growers who make it possible for us to grow all sorts of interesting plants need our support. They are not getting rich selling plants.

Karyn, would such a cutting distribution system even be practical? I'm trying to imagine the botanical gardens matching the right cuttings to the person who wants them. Cuttings, of course, need to be dealt with immediately, and I'm not sure one can assume that most people can successfully root them. Around here, the botanical gardens are pretty good about propagating their plants and selling them for cheap. I attached another photo of $15 Passifloras from Strybing below: P. x exoniensis and P. membranacea (I already posted P. antioquiensis above).

Perhaps a system where people have more input as to what gets propagated would be useful? Or if one could more easily request a certain plant (or seeds) that seems to never be available? I think that can already be done to some extent here.

I guess we are spoiled locally because the botanical gardens (actually their employees and volunteers) do such a good job propagating and selling us plants for cheap. It's overwhelming in many ways.

P. x exoniensis and P. membranacea, $15 plants from Strybing:


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RE: Interesting or cheap local sources for Passifloras in your ar

Interesting take on the N.A. activities Karyn. Certainly, many places are feeling budgetary restraints and that indeed would be great if they could raise funds by selling their seeds and cuttings. That kind of activity certainly would generate more foot traffic for them as well.

I think I will contact our local botanical garden and see if they've considered such activity. They've got some stuff I'd like to get cuttings off and their plants are huge! Hmmmm.

Darren


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RE: Interesting or cheap local sources for Passifloras in your ar

Randy as long as the growing conditions are stated for each type of cutting or seed offered I think that's as far as the arboretum's responsibility goes. If someone wants to try growing a plant not suited to their conditions that's their choice.


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RE: Interesting or cheap local sources for Passifloras in your ar

Hi Karyn,

Actually that wasn't my concern. I was concerned with two things:

1) Is it possible to sort out who wanted what and get the requested cuttings to the right people at the right time, with the constraints that the cuttings have a limited lifetime and that everyone isn't always prepared (or even around)?

2) Can most people successfully propagate the cuttings that they receive? Of course that depends on the skills and background of the person, the cutting, the history of the cutting, the person packaging the cutting, what happens in transit, etc. Many things can go wrong, which is why most botanical gardens deal with this step themselves, and give people already propagated plants. A lot of people who are great with plants have limited propagation skills.

I don't think I've ever seen much in the way of cultural instructions at our botanical gardens, except for grouping things by sun/shade preference. Hopefully people ask, and typically there are a ton of knowledgeable people to help.

I do find it odd that more seeds aren't made available. The SF Botanical Garden (Strybing) sells packets of commercial seeds. A lot of interesting and often incredibly rare plants are full of seed that goes completely to waste.

On a different note. I just wanted to mention another source in the Bay Area, since I stopped by there today. This is Hortica in the Castro in San Francisco. This is a tiny nursery, with a great selection of plants and a friendly and knowledgeable owner. Today I was surprised to find 3 varieties of P. edulis: 'Black Knight', 'Frederick', and 'Nancy Garrison'. All were roughly $12 for 1 gallon plants, if I remember correctly.


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RE: Interesting or cheap local sources for Passifloras in your ar

I didn't actually buy any of the above P. edulis varieties (I wish I had room).

I also saw this on the ground at Strybing today:


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