En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
2 ratings

Tuesday - August 07, 2007

From: Fair Lawn, NJ
Region: Northeast
Topic: General Botany, Non-Natives
Title: Correct spelling of Passiflora caerulea
Answered by: Barbara Medford and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

What is correct, passiflora coerulea or caerulea ?

ANSWER:

The correct scientific name is Passiflora caerulea L. The "L." at the end of the botanical name stands for Linnaeus, the 18th Century Swedish botanist who is widely considered the father of modern taxonomy. He published this species in his seminal work, Species Plantarum in 1753. This two-volume book is considered so important to plant taxonomy, that its publishing date is designated as the starting point for all validly published plant names.

The specific epithets, "caerulea" and "coerulea" are often confused. Both words are commonly applied to blue-flowered species. Carl von Linne (Linnaeus) published the name spelled with an "a." Compare that to the name, Aquilegia coerulea James, published by Edwin P. James in 1823. There is great confusion about this name, because herbarium specimens created by the author (James) have the specific epithet spelled "coerulea" on specimens held in some herbaria and "caerulea" in others. However, only one herbarium specimen is considered the "type" specimen for that species. That specimen assigns the name Aquilegia coerulea.

Passiflora caerulea, Blue Crown Passionflower is a native of Peru and Brazil, early introduced by the natives to Spanish soldiers and taken by them back to Spain, where it was used for medicinal purposes.

 

More General Botany Questions

Copper beech
May 12, 2005 - Hi, I work for a youth camp in southeastern Pennsylvania. The property for the camp was purchased from a farmer in 1958. The farmer was a collecter of unusual trees and one of the trees on our prop...
view the full question and answer

Is Esperanza a deciduous or an evergreen plant?
March 08, 2009 - I've read that Esperanza/Tecoma Stans is an evergreen. I planted one last year that seemed very healthy, but it dropped its leaves in late fall and looks (at least) dormant now. Will it come back o...
view the full question and answer

Consumption of carbon dioxide from South Korea
December 07, 2011 - I am curious about what flowers consume CO2 for growing (especially 1-year life flower). Thanks.
view the full question and answer

What is white sticky substance in the Mandevilla vine?
June 15, 2012 - When I was watering my Mandevilla one of the vines broke and there was a white, sticky substance that came out of the vine. I was just curious as to what that is.
view the full question and answer

How are full sun, part sun, etc, defined?
April 08, 2014 - Hello, I have a question about sun requirements. Does saying something needs "full sun" mean a particular number of hours? Does it mean 6 or more hours / day? 8 or more? Is there an agreed upon n...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center