Friday, January 7, 2011

Passiflora Berkeley with Gulf Fritillary

Isn't this a pretty passion vine? I love the bright white with the lavender ring. It used to grow near the Ecole Bilingue elementary school in Berkeley, and they added butterflies to the curriculum because the kids noticed that it was covered in Gulf Fritillary Butterflies and got very excited. When a friend told me that the house was abandoned and scheduled for tear down, I became concerned because the butterflies loved that vine so much, and if it died, replacing would become impossible. As a result, in 2006, I worked with Carlos at the UC Botanical Garden to clone the vine. I took many cuttings from the front yard (the house was on Heinz Ave just below San Pablo, if I recall correctly) and learned about propagating vines. Carlos sold many of them, calling them "Sally's Rescue" and I planted one in my front yard. They are supposed to be hardy and vigorous, and the one I got cuttings from certainly was, but mine is more like an invalid. Too many snails, I guess.

In 2007, it was registered as "Berkeley" by Dr Les King. Just today, in a email from David Costen, I learned that DNA analysis indicates that it may be triploid.

Somebody registered a name for a plant I saved! Somebody else did DNA analysis on it! David and Les care about a plant I rescued from an overgrown abandoned front yard! Isn't that cool? I think this is my moment of famousity!


Mark Delepine said...

Well done! So you have lots of ties to the bay area and Berkeley in particular. In my yard the vine the Fritillaries have loved above all others was "Coral Seas'. I reluctantly yanked it when asked after it spread out to cover three trees in neighboring Strawberry park. Some passionvines are intent on world domination. I wonder if "Sally's Rescue" is one of those? Given this story, I'd like to find a spot for it in my garden. I've seen ones as all white as this one but haven't noticed a lavendar band.

Thanks for sharing the story.


Caterpillarlady said...

Thanks, Mark. I don't just have ties to Berkeley, I live in Berkeley. Sally's Rescue, AKA Passiflora Berkeley, could take over, I suppose. But it seems like most passion vines will stay within bounds if cut back once or twice a year. The all white one is Passiflora subpeltata or maybe Constance Elliott. Those Gulf Fritillaries do love Coral Seas.

Linda said...

Beautiful!. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog. I found it while attempting to identify my own passiflora.

I, too, live in Berkeley, and have a rather similar white passiflora, except that the very faint lavender ring is at the tips of the filaments instead of at the center, and the style/stigma are deep purple. Any idea what this might be called?

It also is covered at the moment in loads of Gulf Fritillary caterpillars, eggs chrysalis and at least a half dozen butterflies! I am thoroughly enjoying studying them with my kindergartener and his cohort.

Caterpillarlady said...

Hi Linda,

Thanks for reading. I don't know all the different passifloras. I think Gulf Fritillaries are the best butterflies to raise with kids. So glad you are enjoying them. Sal