Thanks again to Earl B. of the eastern USA for contributing an image to BPotD, this time from a recent vacation to Costa Rica (I’m envious!).
For decades, if not centuries, this species in the photograph has been known in cultivation as Passiflora coccinea. However, what is pictured here is not the same species as was described by Aublet in 1775. The true Passiflora coccinea (or scarlet passionflower) is quite different from the plant in the photograph; for example, it has two series of corona filaments with the outer series being white or pale pink, large floral bracts and upright pear-shaped fruits that are golden-brown in colour. The Passiflora coccinea of cultivation has three series of corona filaments, the outer series being purple in colour and the two inner series being white (as shown in today’s image), small floral bracts (also illustrated today) and large, subspherical, pendulous (and variegated!) fruits.
After learning that this isn’t Passiflora coccinea, the logical question that follows is: “What is it?” Hard to believe, perhaps, for a plant that has been cultivated in tropical areas around the world, but it didn’t have a published scientific name until 2006, when John Vanderplank set the record straight about Passiflora coccinea and Passiflora miniata in an article in the (subscription-only, sorry) Curtis’s Botanical Magazine (Vanderplank, J. 2006.
562. Passiflora miniata. Passifloraceae. Curtis’s Botanical Magazine. 23 (3):223–230).
Since the name Passiflora coccinea has been used for so long for this species in cultivation, it is important to establish a link between Passiflora miniata and the wrongly applied name. Botanists will do this by writing Passiflora miniata Vanderpl. (syn. Passiflora coccinea hort.), with the “hort.” meaning “of horticulture”.
The Germplasm Resources Information Network contains the correct information (and species distribution) for Passiflora miniata. On most other sites (and search engines), you’ll have to mentally substitute Passiflora miniata when you see Passiflora coccinea, e.g., on the Kemper Center for Home Gardening entry on red granadilla.