Passion flower, passion vine
There are approximately 500 species in the Passiflora genus, better known as Passion flowers or passion vines. The exotic flowers and fruit of many varieties are popular with gardeners. Most are vines, but some are shrubs, and a few are herbaceous. The most commonly eaten passionfruit grows on Passiflora edulis.
|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Passiflora (i. e., passion flower). Including Disemma and Tacsonia. Passifloraceae. PassionFlower. Highly interesting herbs, shrubs, or trees, most of the cultivated kinds climbing by means of tendrils, with flowers of odd structure; some of them produce edible fruits.
Mostly vines, but some species erect: lvs. alternate, rarely opposite, the petiole usually gland-bearing, the blade entire, digitately lobed or parted, stipules sometimes present: tendrils (sometimes wanting) lateral, simple: fls. solitary or racemose, mostly axillary, on articulated and often 3-bracted peduncles, mostly hermaphrodite, with colors in yellow, green, blue and red, often large and showy; calyx with short tube (also with long tube when Tacsonia is included), the lobes or petals 4 or 5 and narrow, often colored inside, bearing on the throat a simple double or triple showy fringe or crown; petals 4 or 5 (sometimes wanting, or 3), attached on the calyx-throat; stamens 4 or 5, the filaments joined into a tube in which is the gynophore or stalk of the ovary, the anthers linear-oblong and versatile; ovary oblong or nearly globular, with 3 styles and 3 many-ovuled parietal placentae: fr. large or small, berry-like, many-seeded, oblong or globular; seeds flat, mostly ovate, with a fleshy aril.—Species probably 250-300. By some, the genus Tacsonia is separated from Passiflora, but it is here combined; it differs in having an elongated rather than very short calyx-tube or hypanthium; Andean species. See Tacsonia.
With the exception of a few Malayan, Chinese and Australian species, the true passifloras are natives of tropical America, some of them in the subtropical and warm temperate parts. Many of them are cultivated as curiosities, and some of them for the beauty of their flowers and for their festooning foliage. The fruit is of many kinds, in most cases not edible. The ovary is supported on a long stalk, which is inclosed in or usually united with the tube formed by the union of the bases of the filaments. The structure of the fruit is well shown in Fig. 2768; the remains of the floral envelopes have broken from the attachment on the torus and rest on the fruit. A dozen passifloras occur in the United States, and one of them, P. lutea, grows naturally as far north as southern Pennsylvania and Illinois. From Virginia south, the Maypop, P. incarnata, is a very common plant in fields and waste places. Both these species are herbaceous perennials.
In cultivation, the passifloras have been considerably hybridized, and they are also confused with Tacsonia. In 1871 Masters enumerated 184 species (Trans. Linn. Soc. 27), but many species have been discovered since that time. Most of the passion-flowers are yellow or green in color of envelopes, but there are fine reds in P. racemosa, P. Raddiana,P. coccinea, P. alata,P. vitifolia, and others. The species known to gardeners are few, although many kinds are or have been in cultivation by fanciers and in collections. They usually require much rafter room in greenhouses. According to G. W. Oliver, P. caerulea and Constance Elliott are both hardy at Washington. Not many of the tender species and hybrids are grown to any great extent in this country. P. alata and P. quadrangularis are desirable climbers for a roomy warm greenhouse. P. quadrangularis var. variegata seems to flower quite as freely as the green- leaved one. Passifloras are propagated from cuttings of the half-ripened growth, with bottom heat. P. racemosa and P. Loudonii are a trifle difficult to root from cuttings; the growths should be as ripe as possible for this purpose. Keep the under surface of the leaves flat on the sand while rooting. The native P. incarnata grows very freely at Washington, becoming more or less of a weed and hard to eradicate.
The peculiar charm of these plants lies in the odd flowers, the parts of which were fancied by the early Spanish and Italian travelers to represent the implements of the crucifixion (whence both the technical and popular names). Legend and superstition have attached to these plants from the first. The ten colored parts of the floral envelope were thought to represent the ten apostles present at the crucifixion, Peter and Judas being absent. Inside the corolla is a showy crown or corona of colored filaments or fringes, taken to represent the crown of thorns, or by some thought to be emblematic of the halo. The stamens are five, to some suggestive of the five wounds, by others thought to be emblematic of the hammers which were used to drive the three nails, the latter being represented by the three styles with capitate stigmas. The long axillary coiling tendrils represent the cords or the scourges. The digitate leaves suggest the hands of the persecutors. The following sketch of the passion-flower legend is from Folkard's "Plant Lore, Legends and Lyrics," and the illustration (Fig. 2769) is also produced from that book: "The passion-flower (Passiflora caerulea) is a wild flower of the South American forests, and it is said that the Spaniards, when they first saw the lovely bloom of this plant, as it hung in rich festoons from the branches of the forest trees, regarded the magnificent blossom as a token that the Indians should be converted to Christianity, as they saw in its several parts the emblems of the passion of our Lord. In the year 1610, Jacomo Bosio, the author of an exhaustive treatise on the Cross of Calvary, was busily engaged on this work when there arrived in Rome an Augustmian friar, named Emmanuel de Villegas, a Mexican by birth. He brought with him, and showed to Bosio, the drawing of a flower so stupenduously marvelous,' that he hesitated making any mention of it in his book. However, some other drawings and descriptions were sent to him by inhabitants of New Spam, and certain Mexican Jesuits, sojourning at Rome, confirmed all the astonishing reports of this floral marvel; moreover, some Dominicans at Bologna engraved and published a drawing of it, accompanied by poems and descriptive essays. Bosio therefore conceived it to be his duty to present the Flos Passionis to the world as the most wondrous example of the Croce trionfante discovered in forest or field. The flower represente, he tells us, not so directly the Cross of our Lord, as the past mysteries of the Passion. It is a native of the Indies, of Peru, and of New Spain, where the Spaniards call it 'the Flower of the Five Wounds," and it had clearly been designed by the great Creator that it might, in due time, assist in the conversion of the heathen among whom it grows. Alluding to the bell-like shape assumed by the flower during the greater part of its existence (i.e., whilst it is expanding and fading),Bosio remarks: 'And it may well be that, in His infinite wisdom, it pleased Him to create it thus shut up and protected, as though to indicate that the wonderful mysteries of the Cross and of His Passion were to remain hidden from the heathen people of those countries until the time preordained by His Highest Majesty.' The figure given to the Passionflower in Bosio's work shows the crown of thorns twisted and plaited, the three nails, and the column of the flagellation just as they appear on ecclesiastical banners, etc. 'The upper petals,' writes Bosio in his description, 'are tawny in Peru, but in New Spain they are white, tinged with rose. The filaments above resemble a blood-coloured fringe, as though suggesting the scourge with which our blessed Lord was tormented. The column rises in the middle. The nails are above it; the crown of thorns encircles the column; and close in the center of the flower from which the column rises is a portion of a yellow colour, about the size of a reale, in which arc five spots or stains of the hue of blood, evidently setting forth the five wounds received by our Lord on the Cross. The colour of the column, the crown, and the nails is a clear green. The crown itself is surrounded by a kind of veil, or very fine hair, of a violet colour, the filaments of which number seventy-two, answering to the number of thorns with which, according to tradition, our Lord's crown was set; and the leaves of the plant, abundant and beautiful, are shaped like the head of a lance or pike, referring, no doubt, to that which pierced the side of our Savior, whilst they are marked beneath with round spots, signifying the thirty pieces of silver.' "
Passifloras as gardener's ornamental plants.
These plants constitute a large family or group of evergreen climbers. They will show to best advantage when they can be planted out permanently in a warm conservatory and where they can have comparatively large space to climb. They may also be grown in pots when the conditions do not permit other methods of handling.
Passifloras may be propagated either by cuttings or seeds. They may be rooted from young growth taken any time from the middle of January until April. These cuttings are placed in a warm propagating-bed, and kept shaded and moist, and in a short tune they will root; they are also inserted in small pots in a mixture of loam, peat, and sand, in equal parts, and plunged in the propagating-bed. When rooted, the cuttings are potted off, using a compost of loam four parts, leaf-mold two parts, well-rotted cow-manure one part, and which should contain enough sand to keep it porous. Keep shaded until they become well established, when they may be given a place well up to the glass in full sun. The passifloras are also readily raised from seed sown in spring, and the plants potted off as soon as big enough.
The plants will stand a night temperature of 65° to 70°: this can be increased until it reaches 80° to 85° for a day temperature with sun. Give ventilation daily, taking into account the state of the weather; while they like plenty of heat, they will not do well in a stagnant atmosphere; therefore, give air on all favorable occasions. Every morning in bright weather, give them a good syringing, as this is a great aid in keeping them in vigor and supplying the desired atmospheric moisture, but this does not mean a very humid atmosphere. By pinching, the plants are made to produce several growths. These plants can be shifted until they are in 10- or 12-inch pots. The growth may be trained on pillars or along rafters of the conservatory.
When planted out in about 8 or 10 inches of soil, passifloras will cover a very large space, but sometimes to such an extent as to obscure the whole glass. The best place is on a back wall in some house where they may ramble at will. Keep well syringed until they how flower, when syringing should be discontinued until they are through blooming. After the plants have covered the position allotted to them, all that is required is the regulation of the young growth, so as to keep them from becoming entangled. In winter they may be cut back and the exhausted soil replaced by good rich compost. They will not need a high temperature, doing well in 55° to 60° at night. When they start off into growth again, keep raising the temperature until it has reached the figures already stated. They may now be given manure water regularly and throughout the growing season. Keep down thrip, red-spider, and mealy-bug by syringing and sponging.
The edible-fruited passifloras.
The principal species of Passiflora that are cultivated for their fruits in tropical and subtropical regions are P. quadrangularis, the granadilla, granadilla real of Costa Rica, barbadine of the French colonies, pasion- aria of Cuba, maracuja melao of Brazil; P. edulis, also called granadilla, as well as passion-fruit; and P. laurifolia, the water-lemon of the British West Indies, pomme-liane of the French colonies. While P. quad-rangularis is a common garden plant in tropical America, it is not so extensively grown in any region as is P. edulis in Australia. In the United States these species can be grown only in the warmest regions; in California P. edulis is the only one that is successfully cultivated in the open, the other two species being much more susceptible to frost; in south Florida all three can be grown, although the tropical species are sometimes injured by frost.
The true granadilla (P. quadrangularis) is a strong rapid-growing climber, frequently planted for ornament in tropical regions and allowed to cover arbors and pergolas. Its brownish yellow ovoid fruits are sometimes 8 inches in length, and within the thin brittle pericarp is a large number of small flattened seeds surrounded by gelatinous pulp and subacid juice. When green, they are sometimes boiled and used as a vegetable; when ripe, the acidulous pulp is refreshing, and is used to prepare cooling drinks, or is eaten with a spoon directly from the fruit.
The passion-fruit (P. edulis) is considerably smaller than the granadilla, rarely larger than a hen's egg, and dull purple when ripe. Its pulp is slightly more acid than that of the granadilla, but of very pleasant flavor, and highly esteemed in Queensland and New South Wales, where the plant is cultivated commercially. It is used for flavoring sherbets, for confectionery, for icing cakes, for "trifles,"—a dish composed of sponge cake, fruits, cream, and white of egg,—for jams, and for other table purposes. The pulp is also eaten directly from the fruit, after adding a little sugar, or is used to prepare a refreshing drink, by beating it up in a glass of ice-water and adding a pinch of bicarbonate of soda. The plants are grown on trellises about 6 feet high; at the top of the trellis is nailed a crosspiece 18 inches long, from the ends of which are run two wires, the long branches being allowed to hang down over these to the ground. The rows are placed 15 feet apart, with the vines 15 feet apart in the row_. The young plants must be protected in regions subject to frost: they begin bearing the second year, sometimes producing a few fruits the first season, and continue in profitable production four to six years, when they must be renewed. By proper pruning, two crops a year can be secured, in regions not subject to frost. The most suitable soil seems to be sandy loam, although other soils will grow the plant successfully. Manure should be supplied liberally. In Australia, the profits of passion-fruit culture are reported to run from $100 to $300 an acre annually. Because of the short life of the vines, they are often planted as a catch-crop in young orchards which have not yet come into bearing. Like P. quadrangularis, this species is often grown as an ornamental plant, and makes an excellent and rapid-growing cover for fences and trellises.
The passifloras are easily propagated by seeds or cuttings, the latter method being preferable in most cases. Seeds should be removed from the fruit, dried in a shady place, and planted in flats of light soil. They do not germinate very quickly, but the young plants are easily raised, and may be set out in the open ground when six months to a year old. Cuttings should be taken from fairly well-matured shoots, and should be about 6 inches in length. They are easily rooted in sand, no bottom heat being required. Cuttings of P. edulis will often fruit in pots at the age of one to two years, and form very interesting greenhouse plants. While this species usually fruits prolifically, P. quad- rangularis sometimes requires hand-pollination when grown outside its native habitat.
Most species produce round to elongated edible fruit, though few are widely eaten. Fruit is 2-8 inches long and 1-2 inches across, depending on species or cultivar.
The passion fruit or maracujá (P. edulis) is cultivated extensively for its fruit, which is used as a source of juice. A small purple fruit which wrinkles easily and a larger shiny yellow to orange fruit are traded under this name. The yellow form is normally just treated as a variety flavicarpa, but appears to be more distinct in fact.
Sweet Granadilla (P. ligularis) is widely-grown. It's called "passionfruit" in much of of Africa and Australia: in South Africa it is usually called "granadilla". The fruit is something like a combination of the two P. edulis types.
Maypop (P. incarnata), is common in the SE United States. It is a subtropical, in a mostly tropical family. Unlike most of the tropical varieties, this species can withstand cold down to -4°F (-20°C) before the roots die. It has been cultivated north to Boston and Chicago. The yellowish fruit is sweet, and about the size of an egg. Grown for the edible fruit and for being relatively pest free.
Giant Granadilla (Giant Tumbo or badea, P. quadrangularis), Water Lemon (P. laurifolia) and Sweet Calabash (P. maliformis) are popular for their fruit in certain, localized parts of the world. Wild Maracuja are popular in SE Asia and are the fruit of P. foetida. Banana passionfruits grow on P. tripartita var. mollissima and P. tarminiana, and as the name implies are rather elongated. These two are eaten locally, and are very invasive.
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Pests and diseases
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Widely known cultivar/varieties:
|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
adenophylla, 22. ignea, 30. Parritae, 25. adenopoda, 2. incarnata, 18. phaenicea, 12. alata, 12. insignis, 26. princeps, 8. alba, 21, 24. Jamesonii, 28. pruinosa, 20. amabilis, 8, 14. kermesina, 9.
quadrangularis, 11. atomaria, 21. latifolia, 12. racemosa, 8. aucubi folia, 11. laurifolia, 15. Raddiana, 9. brasiliana, 12. Lawsoniana, 12. sanguinea, 17. Buchananii, 17. ligularis, 7. Smythiana. 33. caerulea, 24. Loudonii, 9. tinifolia, 15. coocinea, 16. Lowei, 7. trifasciata,
4. Decaisneana, 13. lutea, 5. tubi flora,
32. edulis, 19. maculifolia, 6. Van Volxemii,
27. eriantha, 31. manicata, 30. variegata, 11. exoniensis, 29. mascarensis, 12. velutina, 16. fulgens, 16. mauritiana, 12. violacea, 23. gracilis. 1. mixta, 31. vitifolia,
17.grandiflora,24 mollissima, 32. Watsoniana, 10. Hahnii, 3. oviformis, 12.
P. alato-caerulea (P. Pfordtii, Hort.) is a hybrid from seed of P. alata by pollen of P. caerulea: lvs. much like those of P. alata, 3-lobed: fls. fragrant, beautiful; sepals white; petals pink; corona of 3 series, the outer filaments being white at tip, blue-purple in the middle, and black-purple at the base. B.R. 848. R.H. 1847:121.— P. albo-nigra, Hort. Said to be a hybrid of P.alata and P.Raddiana: lvs.5-lobed: petals white:corona white above and blackish purple below. Gt. 1:68.—P. Allardii, Hort. syn. P. quadrangularis x P. caerulea Constance Elliott, raised by Mr. Allard of the Botanic Garden, Cambridge, England: lvs. usually with 3 broad lobes: free-flowering; petals white shaded pink; corona deep cobalt-blue.— P. ambigua, Hemsl. Possibly a hybrid of P. laurifolia and P. maliformis: fls. more than double the size of P. laurifolia (5 in. diam., pink and purple): petiole biglandular in middle: lf.-blades attenuate at base; stipules linear. Nicaraugua. B.M. 7822. G.C. 111.31:171.—P. atropurpurea, Hort. Hybrid: has foliage of P. racemosa, but infl. and fl. in general shape more like P. Raddiana: fls. about 3 in. diam., tube less than 1/2.in. long; sepals deeply keeled, reddish violet or prune-colored; petals about length of sepals, dark blood-red; outer corona violet spotted white, the filaments or threads half the length of the petals; inner corona shorter, violet, each thread enlarged at top. G. 26:495.—P. Bellottii, Hort. Sepals flesh-colored; petals rose; corona blue. Thought to be a hybrid of French origin, having been received in England about 1847.—P. Bournapartea, Hort., hybrid of P. alata and P. quadrangularis, "possessing the sweet-scented and richly colored fls. of the former with the handsome foliage of the latter:" blooms freely when young: fls. solitary in the axils, reddish crimson, the corona of rich red, white, and blue filaments. J.H. III. 51:253.— P. capsularis, Linn. Tall slender pubescent climber with red tendrils: lvs. with 2 lunate ovate-oblong lobes: fls. solitary, 2 in. across, rose-red; calyx-tube 1/2in. long, cylindric, the sepals narrowly linear-oblong and obtuse; petals narrower and paler: outer corona much shorter than petals, white; inner corona, short and incurved, white; ovary hairy. Brazil. B.M. 7751 (not 2868, which is P. rubra).—P. chelidonea. Mast. Lvs. oblong, forked at the end to one-fourth the length and with a small middle lobe, marked witn dots: fl. 2 in. across, reenish, with a folded corona. Ecuador. G.C. II. 12:40.—P. cinnabarina, Lindl. Branches terete: lvs. broard- ovate, 3-lobed, margins entire: fls. solitary, 2 1/2 in- across, red; corona short, folded, yellowish. Austral. G.C. 1855:724. B.M. 5911.—P. colimensis. Mast. & Rose. A Mexican species first described in 1899, but cult, for several years in Washington. It is an herbaceous species, with shallow-lobed obtuse denticulate lvs. and small whitish blue-marked fls. on single peduncles. Promising as an outdoor climber.—P. europhylla, Mast. Lvs. oblong, very broad, rounded and biglandular at base, 2-lobed at apex with small lobe between, upper surface dull green and lower surface purplish: fls. whitish, not specially attractive. British Guiana.—P. faetida. Linn. (P. hirsuta and P. hircina, Hort.). Allied to P. adenopoda: annual or sometimes perennial: lvs. pubescent, 3-lobed, the margins entire or obscurely angled: fls. whitish, small, the corona as long as the petals and colored purple and blue: fl.-bracta pinnatifid. Trop. Amer. L.B.C. 2:138. B.M. 3635, the form known as var. nigelliflora, Mast.; and 288, the var. ciliata, Mast. Perhaps in cult., but apparently not offered in the trade. Variable.—P.galbana, Mast. Sts. terete: lvs. lance-oblong, short-petioled, entire: stipules ovate-pointed: fl. solitary on a long peduncle, 3 in. across, greenish yellow, the sepals and petals very narrow, the not folded corona short. Brazil. G.C. III. 20:555.— P. Imthurnii, Mast. Lvs. broad, oblong, acute, entire, thick, glabrous above, but not beneath: fl. erect, 4-5 in. across, brilliant scarlet and rose-color, with white in the center; corona very short. British Guiana. G.C. III. 23:307. Very showy. — P. kewensis, Hort. "It is a cross raised by Mr. Watson, the assistant curator, between the hardy Passiflora caerulea and the Brazilian P. Raddiana. The fls. are larger than those of P. Raddiana, the petals and fringe longer, while the colour is carmine suffused with blue, which, though perhaps not so bright and pleasing as it is in the parent, is a lovely color. "—P. macro-carpa. Mast. Of the P. quadrangularis group: St. 4-angled. strong- climbing: lvs. oval, obtuse: fl. white and purple: fr. as large aa a small melon, weighing several pounds. Brazil. — P. maliformis, Linn. Of the granadilla section: st. described as cylindrical: lvs. ovate or ovate-oblong, entire, the petiole 2-glandular: fl. fragrant, large; petals white; corona blue: fr. yellow, round, and smooth, 2 in. diam., with agreeable pulp. W. Indies to S. Amer. — P. Miersii, Mast. Sts. slender and wiry: lvs. lance-ovate and entire, claret- colored beneath: fl. 2 in. across, white, shaded with pink, the corona half the length of the petals, white, barred with purple. Brazil. G.C. III. 4:353. — P. militaris, Hort.(Tacsonia militaris. Hort.). A showy winter-bloomer intro. from the Transvaal, supposed to be a hybrid of P. manicata X P. insignis or P. Van VolxemiixP. insignia: lvs. green and glabrous above, hairy beneath, deeply 3-lobed and sharp-serrate: fls. bright crimson taking on purplish tinge with age, 4-5 in. across, on hairy stalks 5 in. long; tube short, as in P. manicata, glabrous, inflated at base; outer calyx-lobes striped on outside, green in center, dull crimson on margins; corona small, purple; bracts 3 at base of tube, ovate, serrate. — P. penduliflora, Bert. Lvs. very broad, slightly 3-lobed: fls. yellow and green, solitary or twin, often pendulous; corona in 1 series and 12-14-parted. W. Indies. B.M. 4565. J.F. 2:114.—P. pinnatistipula, Csv. (Tacsonia pinnatistipula, Juss.). Resembles T. mollissima, but the bracts are free; stipules pinnatisect: fls. rose-colored. Chile. B.M. 4062. B.R. 1536.—P. punctata, Linn. Herbaceous climber, minutely puberulous: lvs. nearly semi-circular or almost lunate, shallowfy 3-lobed, the middle lobe much smaller, variegated on both surfaces with purple: fls. in pairs, pale yellow, about 1 1/2 in. across; sepals ovate-oblong, obtuse, nearly 2/4 in. long; petals similar but much shorter; corona in 3 rows, yellow, the filaments of the outer row with violet heads. S. Amer. B.M. 8101.—P. quadriglandulosa, Rodschied. Fls. solitary, 4-5 in. diam., rose-color with a darker shade in the center: corona with an outer ring of dark red filaments: inner filaments tubular and paler; sepals and petals much alike, very long and narrow, acuminate-pointed. Habitat unknown. G. 28:575.—P. serratifolia. Linn. Lvs. ovate-lanceolate, acute, serrulate, pubescent beneath; petiole 4-glandular: fls. purple; corona pale purple and bluish. Mex. B.M. 651. H.U. 2, p. 71. —P. suberosa, Linn. Glabrescent, with corky bark: lvs. roundish or ovate, 3-lobed, the lobes ovate to oblong to lanceolate, the petiole 2-glandular above the middle: fls. greenish yellow, without petals; corona short: berry ovoid, small. W. Indies, Venezuela, etc.— P. triloba, Ruiz & Pav. Lvs. large, cordate-ovate, 3-lobed or entire: fl. 3 in. across, with violet reflexed sepals and petals, and a long cuplike corona, with filaments banded white and purple. Peru. LH. 36:83.—P. Webriana, Andre. Glandular-hairy: lvs. large, 3-lobed, the margin usually toothed: fl. solitary, 2 in. across, white, the corona banded with white: fr. setose, purple. Argentina. CH
Passiflora caerulea with hand for comparison
P. foetida bud
Passiflora incarnata pollinated by Xylocopa virginica (a carpenter bee)
Passiflora xishuangbannaensis, a recently-described species
Passiflora pardifolia was only described in 2006