Friday, 26 December 2008

Passiflora actinia

Passiflora actinia Hook.

Passiflora actinea, as spelled by Walter Oates, and many others, is what is known in botanical jargon as a lapsus: an incorrect name that entered into common usage by a slip of the pen. Sometimes the original citation is itself wrongly spelled - as for example Wisteria which commemorates Carl Wistar - but the rules of the game preserve original errors through priority.

This passion flower is another plant from the Organ Mountains of Brazil (near Rio de Janeiro). It was introduced by Lobbs who sent it to his employer Veitch at the Exeter nurseries. It first bloomed in November 1842. The name alludes to the resemblance of the flowers to a sea anemone.

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