How to grow Passiflora antioquiensis

Previously known as Tacsonia van-volxem, and originally named by French Botanist Charles Antoine Lemaire, Passiflora antioquiensis was first brought under cultivation in Europe in 1858.

It was subsequently renamed and re-classified under the Passiflora genus by German botanist Gustav Karl Wilhelm Hermann Karsten 1895. Native to the cool highland rainforests of Colombia, the species name 'antioquiensis' was named in honour of the Antioquia Department in Colombia from where the type specimen was collected.

How to grow Passiflora antioquiensis
Commonly known as the Red banana passionfruit or vanilla passionfruit it is a highly ornamental climbing species noted for its rich, rose-red pendulous blooms (one of the largest of all within the passiflora genus) and elongated, banana-like fruit. In European climates the flowers appear during late summer to autumn, each one approximately 10-13 cm across with a small violet corona and an exceptionally long, tube-like androgynophore which can be up to 6 cm long! The blooms are borne singularly on long peduncles which can be up to 70 cm long! Each flower will only last 3 or 4 days and in its native habitat would be pollinated by hummingbirds.

Once pollinated, green fruits will appear which look somewhat like a straight, small banana with rounded ends. After 6 months or so the fruits will fully ripen turning yellow. The fruits are edible with a sweet, slightly tart flavour.

The leave can occur in two distinct forms, either lanceolate, un-lobed leaves or deeply three-lobed leaves which are slender, pointed and downy underneath. Once mature, Passiflora antioquiensis can grow between 5-7 metres in height.

Passiflora antioquiensis will be best grown as a conservatory or greenhouse specimen in climates which are at risk from seasonal frosts. However it is intolerant to excessive heat and will prefers humid, semi-shaded conditions and temperatures of no more than approximately 27°Celsius. Any higher and it will refuse to flower. It has been reported that once mature it will be able to tolerate 2 or 3 degrees of brief frost, although i recommend protecting it from all frost.  Like most passionflowers it will perform best planted in a moist, humus rich, well-draining soil. Water regular during the growing season and feeding with a suitable water soluble fertilizer every 10-14 days.