My First Passiflora Hybrid

Last September I read an article about hybridizing passifloras and decided to give it a shot.  I can’t believe my first (and only) attempt worked! Take a look at this incredible case of beginner’s luck and then scroll below for details.


Crossing passifloras involves little more than tweezing off the pollen-laden anthers of one variety (the father) and rubbing them across the stigmas of a different variety (the mother.) If the process works, the mother plant shows a bulge in the ovary within a few days. Over the next 4-6mos–when conditions are right, and in Florida they typically are–the bulge matures into a fruit containing seeds for a new hybrid.


Who’s your daddy??! 🙂

At the time of this experiment, all three of my passionvines had open flowers.  I chose P. incense as the mother because it was the most mature passiflora in the garden.  Being an excessive wierdo, I decided P. lady margaret and  P. alatocaerulea should be “co-fathers.”  🙂

I’m no botanist, so I’m uncertain 3 varieties can combine in a single event…but looking at the new flower’s characteristics makes me think it’s possible.  In this hybrid I see the shape of Lady Margaret, the paleness of Alatocaerulea and the spotted reproductive structures of Incense.


When labelling new crosses, maternal names precede paternal in a strict botanical format: Passiflora incense x alatocaerulea x lady margaret.   I’m usually a stickler for such things, but Maggie dubbed it Passiflora esta and I fell in love with the name.  Find out why by clicking  here. 🙂

Until next time…

🙂 🙂 🙂

In a Vase on Monday: 7/7/14

It’s been raining pretty hard, so this Monday’s vase was assembled quickly.  I used a little bit of everything and a strawberry pot from a long forgotten corner:


I filled the pot with Euphorbia tirucalli (pencil cactus) and Sansevieria trifasciata (snake plant) before inserting a few stems of Iris domestica (blackberry lily,) Ruellia tweediana (Mexican petunia,) and Verbena bonariensis (purple top/vervain.)

For the side pockets, I chopped a few heads of Aloe ciliaris to help anchor the Passiflora incense flowers.  Just before taking pictures I remembered the “filler/spiller/thriller” rule and included a few mandevilla tendrils to “wing out” the sides.


I was pleased with the outcome but Clarisse was unimpressed: she slept through all my efforts AND the drizzle. 😉

Kudos to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for creating this fun weekly challenge.  You can see other Monday Vases by clicking here

Until next time…

🙂 🙂 🙂

Just after sunrise: a peek over the fence.

Long time readers may recall I spent last March indoors (and highly agitated!!) due to a bad back;  this spring I feel a need to take everything in and spend as much time outside as possible!  Since moving the clocks forward, the sun peeks over my fence a little after 8am. This morning I was out to watch it happen not because it’s anything extraordinary, but just because I CAN….and for that I’m very grateful. 🙂

I’d forgotten how robust muscadine looks this time of year:

Vitis rotundifolia aka wild muscadine vine, 3/10/14

and how it holds its own against invasives in a springtime tug-of-war:

Muscadine vs Ipomaea cairica, 3/10/14During March, cosmos germinate and grow the way they do up north ➡ utterly normal and “non-supersized.” 😉

Cosmos grown from seed, 3/10/14

…forming a lacy counterpoint to the Nopalea cochenillifera in the next picture:

Cosmos and Nopalea cochinefillera, 3/10/14

So nice to see Passiflora incense’s first handshake of the season:

Passiflora incense, 3/10/14

and the one time of year when flower and fruit overlap on my orange tree!

Orange blossom and fruit, 3/10/14March is a beautiful month here in Florida…

Passiflora lady margaret, 3/10/14

Until next time…..

🙂 🙂 🙂

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Layers

Finally! The wind died down this morning and I got outside to take pictures for the first time in a week.  Unbelievably, almost every image wound up working for this week’s challenge, yet I had NO idea the topic was layers until long after lunch! 🙂  Gotta love when the stars align like that!!

Anyway…here we go 🙂

The first photo shows an unidentified kalanchoe with layers of leaves in different shapes and sizes:

Unidentified Kalanchoe, 11/15/13

Next, Lady Margaret Passiflora is a study in multi-layered beauty!

Passiflora Lady Margaret, 11/15/13

Tiny roots form the bottom layer on this Kalanchoe pinnata leaf-plantlet.

Kalanchoe pinnata plantlet, 11/15/13

In a few weeks, layers of orange flowers will burst from this wild Sesbania bud.

Sesbania punicea, 11/15/13

Before I sign off….. If you can identify the Kalanchoe in the first photo, let me know!

For other interpretations of this week’s challenge, click on the Zemanta related links below.

Until next time…

🙂 🙂 🙂

Weekly Photo Challenge: Saturated (2nd Submission)

My newest passionflower, “Lady Margaret,” is in the midst of an unbelievable first bloom cycle of saturated red and green. 🙂

Lady Margaret Passiflora 10/1/13

Lady Margaret Passionvine 10/1/13

Lady Margaret Passion flower and foliage 10/1/13

Isn’t this the most gorgeous, detailed species? To learn more, I recommend browsing the VERY comprehensive Passiflora Online.

The amount of bloggers who participated in this week’s challenge was insane!!! To see their creative interpretations, check out the Zemanta provided links below!

Until next time……

🙂 🙂 If you missed my first saturated submission, you can read it here. 🙂 🙂

Passiflora “Lady Margaret” and other Varieties

Passiflora produce one of the most exotic blooms in the plant kingdom, with a large array of colors and forms. I’m slowly collecting different cultivars, the most recent being Lady Margaret, a red variety whose tendrils have clambered up my vine wall since early June.

Passiflora Lady Margaret, 9/10/13

Lady Margaret was hybridized in 1991 by crossing Passiflora Coccinea (red) with Passiflora Incarnata (purple).  The result was an evergreen vine with 3-lobed foliage and one of the most stunning raspberry colored flowers you’ll ever see:

Passiflora Lady Margaret, 9/7/13

These complex, bowl-shaped flowers are 3-4″ wide with fleshy white stigma surrounded by thick stamens. Both sepals and petals are red but some of the petals are modified into coronal filaments that act as flags for pollinators to spot at a distance.

Passiflora Lady Margaret, pic 2, 9/7/13

Here’s a diagram to help you visualize the reproductive process:


Lady Margaret is hardy outdoors in Zones 8 and above; any further north I’d suggest using hanging baskets or pots, to be moved inside when temps dip lower than 55 (F) degrees..

I’m excited to have another red passiflora variety growing along my back fence.  It was a recent pass-along from a friend unsure of its variety.  I suspect it is P. Coccinea which is fairly common around these parts and has foliage similar to mine:

Red Passiflora, unknown cultivar, 9/10/13
You’ve seen my other Passionvines before but they’re definitely worth a second look: (click to enlarge)

Now I’m off to finish planting some fall seeds…more about that in another post! 🙂

Until next time…..


Weekly Photo Challenge: Up (and the Weekly View!)

This week’s photo challenge is almost TOO easy. 🙂

Everywhere I look, the plants are reaching up, up, up, like this ipomaea cairica (aka mile-a-minute) vine:

ipomaea cairica, 4/25/13

…..along with budding passiflora and upward facing sunflowers just starting to show their faces:

Passiflora vine and sunflowers, 4/25/13

….remember T. utriculata from my Weekly View posts?   Up, up and away is now an apt description, as its bloomspike breaks free of the orange-tree canopy. 🙂


While I was looking up through the tree, I glimpsed a marvel of avian engineering, so apropos for today of all days!


How perfect! Finding a mockingbird nest on John Jay Audubon’s birthday (birdday? ha!)

You never know what you’ll see when you start looking up!

Until next time…..

🙂 🙂 🙂

Wordless Wednesday: January 2, 2013

Today’s (wordy? ;)) Wordless Wednesday photo was taken on New Year’s Day.  I was thrilled to see the first opened bud on my Passiflora Alatocaerulea:

Passiflora Alatocaerulea, 1/1/13

Until next time…..

🙂 🙂 🙂

Neoregelia spp

Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections

After yesterday’s downpour, my plants were adorned with lingering raindrops. I liked how this Passiflora belotti leaf caught the reflection of barely emerging sunlight:

Passiflora Belotti foliage

The overflowing “tank” of my Neoregelia Spectabilis  mirrored the Bauhinia tree above it: note the reflection of branches on the tank’s righthand side:

Neoregelia Spectabilis, 12/06/12

Reflection is not just physics and lightwaves; it describes behavioural elements, too ➡ hover your mouse over the picture to see what I mean! HA!

Passiflora belotti flower bud, 12/07/12

😉 😉

Until next time…..

Share Your World: Week 26

I haven’t written a Share Your World post in awhile! To celebrate the 6 month anniversary of Cee’s great idea, I’ll participate via the questions she posed last week:

What made you smile today?

Definitely this:

Passiflora Incense 5, June 12, 2012

Passiflora Incense, June 12, 2012

How could that NOT brighten a day!?

There are over 400 different varieties of passiflora, and though some grow wild in Florida, the one pictured here is a hybrid cultivar of P. incarnata crossed with P. Cincinnata. (Thank you, Ben Kolstad for the plant i.d. 🙂 )

I’m thrilled to tell you I have a second species of this beautiful vine growing on a different trellis. No flowers in evidence just yet (it’s a brand new, pass-along from a gardening classmate) but I’m expecting a different look when it starts blooming. Unlike P. Incense (whose foliage features 5 lobed leaves,) my younger vine is of the 3 lobed variety. Perhaps it’s a native? Of course, pictures to follow!

Have any hidden talents?

I’m not sure if this counts, but I’m wicked good at deciphering Captchas! Since learning of its role in digitizing physical books, newspapers, and old radio broadcasts, I’ve actually become quite the Captcha fan 😉 !  Evidently I’m not the only one with this proclivity! Seems a trio of hackers was just days away from infiltrating my fave Turing Test!  You can read all about it here!

Are you usually late, early, or right on time?

Let me put it to you this way: I’m ALWAYS ready early if I’m making a deposit in my bank account, or heading to the beach!! If my plans involve other destinations, it depends on distractions that happen while I’m getting ready…(what the Nancy Drew books of my youth referred to as “doing one’s toilette” 😎 )

In other words, should I poke myself in the eyeball with the mascara wand “while doing my toilette”….or the cat coughs up a hairball….or the Keurig won’t dispense….these distractions might tie me up and hinder a timely departure ➡ Unless it’s a bank/beach day when I’d ignore the runny eye/cat vomit/lack of Java until my return….You feel me?  Thought so! 🙂

All kidding aside, I’m pretty dependable in matters of time. Currently I’m not driving, so I’m very conscious of detaining the kind people carting me around!

What is the difference between being alive and truly living?

That’s easy!

Truly living means being present in whatever moment you’re in–the bad ones as well as the good ones! It means accepting life on life’s terms and dropping “I wish” from your vocabulary. Looking too far ahead, dwelling in the past or wishing you were dealt a different hand: those are characteristics of just being alive—where’s the fun in that?

On that note, I’ll leave you with a few other passion flower pics, and a reminder to scroll to the very bottom for other week 26 postings from Share Your World!

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Until next time….

🙂 🙂 🙂

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