Image © 2006 Robert McClean
Passiflora x belotii
A stunning hybrid with a beautiful perfume similar to 'Refreshers' sweets.
Passiflora x belotii is correctly known as Passiflora x belotii. It is a hybrid of P. alata x P. caerulea. Named P. alato-caerulea by Dr Lindley in 1824, John Vanderplank's book lists the following alternative names, P. x belotii, P. 'Empress Eugenie', P. 'Imperatrice Eugenie', P. 'Kaiserin Eugenia', P. munroi & P. x pfortii, some of which are still in use. The latest Passiflora hybrid lists have collapsed them all into 'P. x belotii'. Flower variations however include either a dark or light centre, one or a number of white bands on the coronal filaments & petals crumpled to varying degrees. Clearly there are a number of similar but distinct hybrids, probably all of P. alata x P. caerulea parentage. It is my view that they have been overcollapsed & could probably be separated out again, but as they are decorative & sterile it does not matter too much. The P. x belotii comparisons above compare flowers of 3 different P. alata x P. caerulea hybrids. Les King has repeated the P. alata x P. caerulea cross and confirms that the offspring were like P. x belotii.
My 'P. x belotii' was supplied by Hill House Nursery identified as P. × caponii ‘John Innes’. This is described in the PSI hybrid list as ''(P. quadrangularis × P. racemosa) Beckett, Journ. RHS. 1960. vine: vigorous, robust; leaves: large, three lobed; flowers: purple and white; corona filaments: red towards the centre then banded purple and white with mottled purple tips.'' P. x caponii is most likely P. quadrangularis x P. caerulea, i.e. P. x allardii. It could also have been P. x decasineana x P. caerulea. The plants sold at Hill House can be traced back to Kew and the original stock, so they are strictly P. xcaponii, but we now see P. xcaponii as just a synonym for P. xallardii. I know this paragraph makes little sense - DNA analysis is required really to sort it all out. Les King and Emil Kugler propose here that the cross of P. quadrangularis × P. racemosa never happened.
P.x belotii has also been suggested in the past to be P. edulis x P. quadrangularis or P. × buonapartea, or P. racemosa-caerulea x P. quadrangularis with its origins becoming lost in the 1850s. (Thanks to Leslie A. King for this information from Axel Frank and Emil Kuglers' hybrid checklist).