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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.

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

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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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Sunday - May 28, 2006

From: Florissant, MO
Region: Midwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Germination of Passiflora incarnata seeds
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I wish to purchase the Passionflower incarnata plants. I have found seeds, but they say they are very hard to start. I lost my very large vine and wish to replace it.

ANSWER:

Passiflora incarnata is slow to germinate but there are things you can do to speed the germination. Soak the seed in a 5% alcohol/water solution for 24 hours before sowing. This weak alcohol/water solution is said to remove the chemical from the seed coat that inhibits germination and will speed the process.

You can check for nurseries in your area that carry P. incarnata plants by searching in our National Suppliers Directory. Checking a few of those in the Midwest Region, I found that Missouri Wildflower Nursery near Jefferson City has had them in the past, according to their web page list. It might be worthwhile calling them to find out the present status.
 

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