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Passiflora 'Mission Dolores' first bud?

Posted by mark4321 9b CA Sunset 17 (My Page) on
Fri, Sep 21, 12 at 22:34

As some are aware, I've posted on P. 'Mission Dolores' blooming in the past. That was on a plant in a pot in Sunnyvale, CA (about 45 miles South of San Francisco). I'm in a new location, and this is a new plant, growing in the ground, in San Carlos, CA. I'm closer to San Francisco (now 25 miles away). Our climate is a few degrees milder, although still much warmer (and sunnier) in the summer than in the city itself.

Here's the plant I bought in April, at a sale at Strybing Arboretum. It was probably $15, for a plant in a "half gallon" pot. I almost immediately put the plant in the ground.

Passiflora 'Mission Dolores' in

The plant has grown considerably, and I want to start a bunch of cuttings soon. I also have been checking it for buds, particularly with cooler weather coming. This is a plant that can't be grown/bloomed in most of the country. It does great in San Francisco, but really doesn't like it when it gets in the 80s and 90s. I think we only had a couple days this summer in the 90s. We averaged about 75/55, with about 20 days each with highs in the 80s and 60s since the beginning of June. Our highest low temperature was 60. We typically get a heat wave (90s) in September, and it looks like we might avoid that this year. The plants will be happy.

Today I noticed a tiny bud on my plant. I didn't think it was viable, but I was excited because more should follow.

Passiflora 'Mission Dolores' first bud?
(the big leaves are from Salvia wagneriana, which is in a pot and should bloom this winter. The other vine is Cardiospermum halicacabum, which is blooming like crazy and is just starting to form its seed pods)

The P. 'Mission Dolores' vine has grown vigorously, including into the darkest part of my growing area. It's almost like a cave up there, and I doubt it gets any sunlight. You can probably tell the leaves are sort of curled up due to the lack of bright light.

Passiflora 'Mission Dolores' in a dark corner

I was thinking about harvesting some of those vines for cuttings, but then I noticed the feature indicated by the blue arrow above. Magnified (2/3 of the way to the left):

Passiflora 'Mission Dolores' bud side view

Or seen from below:

Passiflora 'Mission Dolores' from below

And magnified again:

Passiflora 'Mission Dolores' bud from below closeup

I'm glad I saw this before removing the vine for cuttings. I thought about taking it out several weeks ago. Hopefully this bud will be viable. I should find out in the next few days. The peduncle (flower stem) is only about 2 1/2 or 3 inches long. I hope that it will become particularly long due to the low light in this area.

Below is a link to our weather record, so people can see the sort of climate this plant grows in. The hisorical "averages" are bogus as far as I'm aware. It's not that hot here. I'm not sure what's up with the precipitation (or wind) records. We typically get about 20 inches of rain a year, none in the summer.

Here is a link that might be useful: Weather over the last year in San Carlos, CA

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Passiflora 'Mission Dolores' first bud?

Congrats Randy. I can't wait to see the bloom. I wonder if the bloom color will be less intense because of the shade?

RE: Passiflora 'Mission Dolores' first bud?

Karyn, I think the answer to your question is yes.

Look what I found this morning:

Mission Dolores bud trapped

The thing housing the cord is not fixed, so I was able to free the bud:

Passiflora 'Mission Dolores' bud freed

That's pretty pale for a P. 'Mission Dolores' bud. Compare (this is my previous plant, a couple years ago):

Mission Dolores bud Aug22

RE: Passiflora 'Mission Dolores' first bud?

It seems that I didn't look hard enough. In one of the photos above, the corolla tube of a third bud is visible. I indicated this below with an arrow:

Passiflora 'Mission Dolores' third bud freed

I climbed up on a chair an removed the bud--again it was slid into a small crevice in a dark corner. With the bud freed, all three buds are visible in the photo below. The recently freed bud is even less colored than the previously freed one (which appears to be close to opening). The arrow indicates the previous location of the third (second largest) bud:

Passiflora 'Mission Dolores' third bud freed

I hope the plant doesn't make a habit of trying to stash all of its buds in hidden, dark locatons.

RE: Passiflora 'Mission Dolores' first bud?

Randy, you beat everything - I can't believe all the beauties you grow! Congrats on successfully growing so many lovely plants.

RE: Passiflora 'Mission Dolores' first bud?

I'm really curious to see what the color is. A paler color might actually be quite nice.

RE: Passiflora 'Mission Dolores' first bud?

Kayjones, thanks. We are fortunate locally to have incredible resources and the perfect climate for a number of things. All I did with this one is take it home, dig a hole (in the most awful adobe clay soil in the world), plant, and water.

Karyn, it doesn't look like it will be too pale. Maybe tomorrow we'll know. Right now it's candy-striped. I guess the light levels shouldn't matter so much for the inside of the bud. It's funny how the pale color almost matched the color of the paint--almost like camouflage.

Mission Dolores bud Sept 25

RE: Passiflora 'Mission Dolores' first bud?

Here's this morning's view: mostly open. It's intensely colored from below, and it looks like a typical P. 'Mission Dolores' flower as far as I can tell. It's no longer camouflaged against the paint...

Hopefully I can get a fruit out of this.

Passiflora 'Mission Dolores' bud opened

RE: Passiflora 'Mission Dolores' first bud?

Beautiful. It's as intensely colored as any other MD I've seen.

RE: Passiflora 'Mission Dolores' first bud?

Here is the first flower, fully opened, on Thursday:

Passiflora 'Mission Dolores' Sept. 27

That one was closed on Friday. The ovary has darkened and shriveled, so no fruit.

The second bud opened today:

Passiflora 'Mission Dolores', 2nd bloom

Today is one of our hottest days of the year. We are up around 90. Hopefully fruit will still form from the second flower.

RE: Passiflora 'Mission Dolores' first bud?

Gorgeous! Thanks for sharing.


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