|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Passifloraceae (from the genus Passiflora; early travelers thought they had found emblems of the crucifixion in the flower, for a detailed account of which see article on Passiflora). Passion-flower Family. Fig. 40. Herbaceous or woody plants, usually climbing by axillary tendrils: leaves alternate, simple or compound: flowers bisexual, or unisexual, usually involucrate, perigynous; calyx and corolla sometimes similar; sepals 4-5, imbricated, often petaloid; petals 4-5, rarely 0, imbricated, often smaller than the sepals, sometimes fringed; a crown (outgrowth of receptacle) of many filaments between the petals and stamens, sometimes tubular or scale-like; stamens 4-5, usually opposite the petals, inserted on the edge of the cup-shaped receptacle, or at the base of the corona, or at the base of the pistil at the summit of a long gynophore, separate or connate; ovary superior, raised on a more or less distinct stalk (gynophore), 1-celled with 3-5 parietal placentae; ovules numerous; styles 3-5: fruit a berry or capsule.
This family contains 18 genera and about 350 species, inhabitants principally of the tropical regions, especially of the New World. Two hundred and fifty species belong to the genus Passiflora, which extends as far north as southern Pennsylvania. The family is not closely related to other families, but finds its nearest affinities in the Loasaceae, Turneraceae and Begoniaceae. The remarkable floral structure is distinctive.
The pulpy aril of the seeds of Passiflora is used in tropical America in the preparation of cooling drinks. The flowers and fruit of P. rubra are narcotic. The roots of P. quadrangularis are very poisonous and sometimes used in small doses as a vermifuge. Many Passifloras are cultivated in the tropics as fruit plants.
Many are in cultivation in America, namely Passiflora and Tacsonia (Granadilla, Jamaica Honeysuckle, Water Lemon, May-Pop), some for the beautiful and odd flowers, some, especially in the South, for the fruit.CH
About 530 species classified in around 18 genera.wp
The former Cronquist system of classification placed this family in the order Violales, but under more modern classifications systems such as that proposed by the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group, this is absorbed into the Malpighiales.wp
- Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, by L. H. Bailey, MacMillan Co., 1963