Passion flower (Passiflora; syn. Disemma Labill.) is a genus of about 500 species of flowering plants in the family Passifloraceae. They are mostly vines, with some being shrubs, and a few species being herbaceous. For information about the fruit of the passiflora plant, see passionfruit.
The bracts of Passiflora foetida are covered by hairs which exude a sticky fluid. Many insects get stuck to this. Studies have suggested that this may be an adaptation similar to that seen in carnivorous plants. (Radhamani, et al)
Species of Passiflora have been naturalised beyond their native ranges. For example Passiflora caerulea now grows wild in Spain .
These forms of Passiflora edulis have been found to be different species. They occur in different climate regions in nature and bloom at different times of day. The purple fruited species is self fertile and the yellow fruited species, despite claims to the contrary, is self sterile. It requires two clones for pollenization.
Hundreds of hybrids have been named and hybridizing is currently being done extensively for flowers, foliage and fruit. A number of species of Passiflora are cultivated outside their natural range (where some have become established) because of their beautiful flowers. The passion fruit or maracujá vine of commerce, Passiflora edulis, is cultivated extensively in the Caribbean and south Florida and South Africa for its fruit, which is used as a source of juice.
Maypop (Passiflora incarnata), a common species in the southeastern US. This is a subtropical representative of this mostly tropical family. However, unlike the more tropical cousins, this particular species is hardy enough to withstand the cold down to -4°F (-20° C) before its roots die (it is native as far north as Pennsylvania and has been cultivated as far north as Boston and Chicago.) The fruit is sweet, yellowish, and roughly the size of a chicken's egg; it enjoys some popularity as a native plant with few pests and edible fruit. As with other passifloras, it is the larval food of a number of butterfly species and is important to local wildlife. Carpenter bees figure as important pollinators of maypops.
Banana poka or Curuba (Passiflora tarminiana), originally from Central Brazil, is an invasive weed, especially on the islands of Hawaii, where it is spread by feral pigs eating the fruits. It overgrows and smothers stands of endemic vegetation, mainly on roadsides. Its fruits are edible, but not as much sought-after as maracujá.
Chilean passiflora, (Passiflora pinnatistipula) grows in the Andes, from Venezuela to Chile, between 2500 and 3800 meters altitude, and in Coastal Central Chile, in where is an endangered vine from humid woody Chilean Mediterranean forests.
Many cool growing Passiflora from the Andes Mountains can be grown successfully for their beautiful flowers and fruit in cooler Mediterranean climates, such as the Monterey Bay and San Francisco in California and along the Western Coast of the U.S. into Canada.
Most species have elongated fruit from two to eight inches long and an inch to two inches across depending upon the species or cultivar. P. pinnatistipula has a round fruit unusual in the Tacsonia group, which is typified by P. tarminiana and P. mixta with their elongated tubes and brightly red to rose colored petals.
In Israel they are referred to as clock-flower (שעונית). In Japan, they are known as . In North America they are also called the Maypop, the water lemon, and the wild apricot (after its fruit). Native Americans in the Tennessee area called it ocoee, and the Ocoee River and valley are named after it. In Hawaiian, they are called lillikoi.
Wild Apricot Launches Version 3.0: Crowdsourcing Drives Success for Association and Non-profit Membership Management Software.
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