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

Brownish-gold worm-looking things on loblolly pines
May 08, 2015 - We have a large loblolly pine that each spring drops thousands of brownish-gold "worm" looking things (about 1/2 to 1" long). Do they have a name and what is their purpose?
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

Why is water used for plants.
February 19, 2008 - Why is water the most popular thing for watering plants if is so plain?
view the full question and answer

School project on acid rain effects on plants from Austin
October 18, 2013 - Hi I go to an Austin high school and I am doing a project on how acid rain affects plant growth. I am wondering if you know any plants that would be more or less susceptible to acid rain for this proj...
view the full question and answer

Bird nest fungus in Central Austin, TX.
August 21, 2012 - Hi, I live in Central Austin and have different types of ground cover (such as silver pony foot)in my garden and have noticed huge patches of bird's nest fungi in between and under. Every time it ...
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