President – Rob McPhail
Rob McPhail was born and raised in Scotland and currently now lives near Amsterdam in the Netherlands. At the age of 15 he started growing his first Passion Flower after contracting the bug from John Vanderplank.
With an ever growing collection of around 150 species and a few Hybrids out there already, he focuses mainly on the cooler temperature loving species. This has led him from a young age to travel and explore the whole Americas from North to South in search of these plants in the wild. The best thing ever to see is not the Passion Flowers growing in your greenhouse but growing in their own environment in pure nature!
Rob became the Editor of the Passiflora Society in 2010. Redesigning and bringing the newsletter up to date and in full color. In 2016 he was voted in as the President of the Passiflora Society and is constantly working on improving and promoting the society to all our member’s needs.
Vice President – John Vanderplank
John Vanderplank was born in Tanzania and spent most of his childhood in East Africa. He settled in the United Kingdom when his father retired from the Colonial Service in 1959. While still at school he started a small horticultural business, Greenholm Nurseries, with his father. On leaving school he studied commercial horticulture at the Somerset Farm Institute in Cannington.
His first encounter with passion flowers was strictly commercial with the nursery growing P. edulis and P. caerulea for the then fledgling garden centre trade. These were so successful that the range of varieties was increased initially to six and then to ten.
In 1983 Roy Cheek (of the National Council for the Conservation of Plants and Gardens) asked him if he would start a National Collection. By 1986 the National Collection of Passiflora boasted 150 species and cultivars and in 2004 John received the Brickell Award for Excellence in Cultivated Plant Conservation.
In 1991 his first book, Passion Flowers and Passion Fruit, was published and was followed by two later editions. In 2001 John was awarded a PhD for his work on the storage and longevity of Passiflora seed. While continuing this work he was made an Honorary Research Associate at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in 2010.
Treasurer – Stefania Mattiuzzo
Stefania is from Rome,Italy with my profession as an accounting manager. I love unusual plants, of all Genus. I especially love climbers, Clematis and off course Passiflora are the queens in my garden and cold greenhouse. I love to experiment with germination in order to sow rare species or my hybrid seeds. Thanks to my hobby, I have found very much friends and contacts, from who I have learnt the secrets of cultivation and propagation. I’m trying to create cold hardy Passifloras to share, and some interesting results between my hybrids are already out there.
Secretary & Membership – Stéphane Fehr
Passionate and collector of Passiflora. I try the cultivation of Passiflora without a greenhouse to test various varieties inside and outside for people who haven’t good conditions for the cultivation of passionflower especially pot grown. All my passionflowers grow at my home or outside for frost resistant species and with the cold climate in the winter this makes it perfect for the testing. Since 5 years i am president of the French European Sociéty les amis de la passiflore ( friends of passionflowers). With this i also work every time to help beginners and share with specialist new varieties and hybrids.
Newsletter Editor – Rob McPhail
Registrar – Robert Rice
Robert Rice lives in Sussex in south east England, where he was born and given his first garden to look after when 10 years old. But it was not until many years later that he grew his first Passiflora, and only now he’s retired has he had the opportunity to start plant breeding in earnest. His goal is to produce beautiful passionflowers with fruit that is good to eat and which are hardy in south east England.
Robert’s working life was spent developing computer software for business, and he is keen to make that skill available to plant breeding, research and conservation. So he was delighted to take on the role of Passiflora Registrar in 2016, and has already set up a new website for that purpose – www.passifloracultivars.org. In addition to administering the register he hopes to turn it into an on-line repository of information about the individual taxa.
With similar motivation, in 2016 he also became a trustee of the conservation charity Plant Heritage (formerly the National Council for the Conservation of Plants and Gardens) which oversees some 650 collections in the British Isles. He has recently produced a comprehensive review of their information management and technology, which he hopes will lead to their 100,000 taxa being available not just to local visitors but on-line browsers anywhere in the world.
Webmaster – Liza Rock – USA
Liza was born in Florida and works in the Information Technology industry building websites and creating custom graphics. She has a lot of passions and hobbies, but Passiflora has a special place in her heart.
It was love at first sight, after stumbling upon this “alien looking” purple flower with curly corona filaments (P. Incense). She instantly fell in love with this special and quirky flower which began her newfound interest.
Liza has been active in the Passiflora Society since 2009. Today she mainly collects rare species of Passiflora and other unique plants trying to help keep them in cultivation. She is especially intrigued by the Passiflora subgenus Astrophea.
South American Representative – Sergio Lloreda – Colombia
Seed Bank Admin – Jorge Ochoa
Jorge has academic credentials from both Long Beach City College and Cal Poly Pomona. He is currently lead instructor for the Long Beach City College horticulture program. Jorge has a long history of chasing passionflowers and has journeyed throughout Central and South America in search of this unique group of plants.