Plant of the week

By Joanne Mercille

The flowers of the plant are colourful and showy.

Wild Pumpkin; Corky Stem Vine; Inkvine/Passiflora cuprea
PASSIFLORACEAE

Height:
Long tendrils that can cover a large pergola

Growth habit:
Evergreen vine with blue/green foliage

Flowers:
Large three-inch red flowers; the large seeds will turn purple

Soil requirement:
Good, loamy soil

Light requirements:
Sun to part-shade

Environment tolerance:
None – I would not put this vine in a windy or salt spray situation

Nature attracting:
Host and nectar plant for endemic butterfly Dryas iulia zoe/Julia, Flambeau

DISTRIBUTION
Passiflora has a largely neo-tropic distribution. The vast majority of Passiflora are found in Mexico, Central and South America, Jamaica and parts of Cuba.

DESCRIPTION
This perennial vine is quite showy when in bloom; it will send tendrils to climb onto a trellis or tree. As it is a host plant for butterflies, it will periodically be eaten by young caterpillars, but it grows new leaves soon after.
Horticulture potential: This lovely vine would beautify an archway or pergola. It is easy to grow with very little care and no diseases are associated with this plant.

Bio
Joanne Mercille
Mercille has called Grand Cayman home since 1997 and she has a keen interest in local flora. She is curator for the National Trust Herbarium and has created an online database for public viewing of the physical herbarium.

She is also webmaster for www.caymanflora.org and owns Caribbean Blooms – a native plant nursery.

She is an avid gardener and member of the Garden Club of Grand Cayman.

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