Passiflora Facts

Passiflora Facts
Passiflora, also known as passion flower, is a type of flowering plant that belongs to the family Passifloraceae. There are more than 500 species of passiflora that are native to Central and South America, Southeast Asia, Australia, New Guinea and New Zealand. Passiflora usually grows in tropical climate, on moist, well-drained soil in areas that provide enough sun. Some species of passiflora are classified as invasive because they spread quickly and easily eliminate native species of plants. People cultivate passiflora mostly in ornamental purposes. Some types of passiflora produce delicious fruit.
Interesting Passiflora Facts:
Passifloras grows in the form of herbaceous plant, bush or vine, depending on the species. Vines can reach 30 feet in height and 5 feet in width.
Passiflora develops evergreen, glossy, 3-, 7- or 9-lobed leaves. Curled tendrils can be seen at the base of each leaf.
Passiflora develops large, showy flowers that can reach 3 to 8 inches in diameter. Flowers can be white, red, pink, purple, blue or multicolored. One of the most popular types of passiflora, called blue passion flower, develops flowers whose filaments are purple at the base, white in the middle and blue at the top. Passiflora blooms all year round in tropical climates.
Passifloras produce large quantity of nectar which attracts butterflies, hummingbirds and bats, main pollinators of these plants.
60 species of passiflora produce edible fruit that is usually yellow or purple colored and egg-shaped.
Fruit of Passiflora edulis, also known as maracuja, morphologically resembles pomegranate. Its pulp consists of large number of individual juicy sacs.
Passifloras can be propagated via seed and cuttings.
Caterpillars of more than 70 different species of butterflies use leaves of passiflora as major source of food. Some types of passifloras develop egg-like structures on the surface of leaves to discourage females from laying eggs.
Some species of passiflora produce sweet, nectar-like substance which attracts ants. In return, ants protect plant from other pests.
Name of the plant originates from 15th and 16th century when Spanish missionaries identified similarities in the shape, arrangement and number of individual floral parts with crucifixion of Christ (also known as "the passion").
10 sepals and petals represent faithful apostles of Christ, radial filaments of flowers represent crown of thorns, tendrils represent whips (that were used for torturing of Christ), 3 stigmas represent 3 nails of the cross, 5 anthers represent 5 wounds, while blue and white color of the flower symbolize heaven and purity.
Root and leaves of passiflora contain compounds with anti-anxiety and sedative properties that can be used in treatment of epilepsy, hysteria and insomnia.
Passiflora can be consumed in the form of tea.
Dried leaves of passiflora can be smoked in the form of cigarettes.
Passiflora is perennial plant which means that it lives more than 2 years in the wild.

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