Known as sweet grenadilla, the fruit of passiflora ligularis is a close second to passiflora edulis in terms of taste, and it is used in much the same way. Native to the Andes from Venezuela to Peru, it is naturally a highland plant. It is somewhat rarer in terms of personal cultivation, but it is like edulis in that it is commercially cultivated for its fruit. It has reportedly become naturalized in Jamaica and Haiti and can also be found in Hawaii. As with other species of passiflora, ligularis flowers are some of the most beautiful on earth and carry a sweet aroma. As an ornamental, it is ideal for decorating structure such as fences, lattice, trellis and mailboxes and will thrive in almost any soil as long as it is well-draining. They typically measure around four inches in diameter with the whole vine reaching about fourteen feet in length. It is distinct from other passifloras in that it prefers a temperature range between 45 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. It is most frequently propagated by seeds buts can be done so by cuttings as well.
Growing Information: Passiflora seeds are known for long and stubborn germination. Seeds may be cold stratified for four weeks in the fridge prior to planting if desired. Natural cold stratification can be provided by sowing seeds outdoors in the fall. Other growers will prepare the seed by soaking it in water or juice for 24 hours prior to planting. The acids in the juice are meant to help break down the seed coat. Vinegar has also been used for this purpose. Sanding the seed coat a bit may also help achieve a similar result. Plant them at about 3/4″ deep in a damp, well-draining medium. Sowing in a moist paper towel that is placed in a zipper baggie has proven successful. Keep at a temperature of about 67 degrees Fahrenheit using bottom heat if possible. Germination can take several weeks to several months. Provide filtered sunlight.
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