Bejucos herbáceos o leñosos que trepan mediante zarcillos axilares. Hojas alternas, simples o con menos frecuencia compuestas, enteras o palmatilobadas; pecíolos usualmente con nectarios extraflorales; estípulas usualmente pequeñas y deciduas. Flores usualmente grandes y vistosas, bisexuales o con menos frecuencia unisexuales, actinomorfas, producidas en cimas axilares o solitarias, a veces cubiertas en la base por un involucro de brácteas foliáceas; cáliz de (3-) 5 (8) sépalos libres o connatos en la base; pétalos tan numeroso como los sépalos, alternando con éstos rara vez ausentes; corona con 1 o varios verticilos de apéndices libres o connatos; estambres (4) 5, los filamentos libres o en un estípite (androginóforo); ovario súpero, usualmente sobre un ginóforo o rara vez sésil, unilocular, con (2) 3 (-5) carpelos, la placentación parietal, con numerosos óvulos, los estilos 3, libres o connatos en la base, los estigmas capitados u oblanceolados. Fruto una baya o con menos frecuencia una cápsula. Género con 400 especies, 350 de éstas nativas de América tropical, las restantes del paleotrópico.
Herbaceous or woody vines that climb by means of axillary tendrils. Leaves alternate, simple, entire or palmately lobed; petioles usually with extrafloral nectaries; stipules usually small and deciduous. Flowers usually large and showy, bisexual or less frequently unisexual, actinomorphic, produced in axillary cymes or solitary, sometimes covered at the base by an involucre of foliaceous bracts; hypanthium short or tubular; calyx of (3-)5(-8) sepals, free or connate at the base. Petals as numerous as the sepals, alternating with them, rarely absent; corona of 1 or several whorls of free or connate appendages; stamens (4)5, the filaments free or on a stipe (androgynophore), the anthers dehiscent by longitudinal valves; ovary superior, usually on a gynophore, or rarely sessile, unilocular, with (2)3(-5) carpels, the placentation parietal, with numerous ovules, the styles 3, free or connate at the base, the stigmas capitate or oblanceolate. Fruit a berry or less frequently a capsule. A genus of 400 species, 350 of these native to tropical America, the rest to the paleotropics.
Foodplant / pathogen Florida Passion Flower virus infects and damages stunted plant of Passiflora
In Great Britain and/or Ireland: Foodplant / saprobe gregarious, immersed then erumpent pycnidium of Macrophoma coelomycetous anamorph of Macrophoma passifloricola is saprobic on dead stem of Passiflora Remarks: season: 5
"Vetches and passion flowers have modified some of their leaves even more extremely and converted them into tendrils. These grope around in space until they touch the stem of another and swiftly coil around it." (Attenborough 1995:161-162) Learn more about this functional adaptation.
Attenborough, D. 1995. The Private Life of Plants: A Natural History of Plant Behavior. London: BBC Books. 320 p.
Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) Stats Specimen Records:354 Specimens with Sequences:386 Specimens with Barcodes:344 Species:137 Species With Barcodes:134 Public Records:282 Public Species:129 Public BINs:0
Some species of Passiflora have been naturalised beyond their native ranges. For example, blue passion flower (P. caerulea) now grows wild in Spain. The purple passionfruit (P. edulis) and its yellow relative flavicarpa have been introduced in many tropical regions as commercial crops.
The leaves are used as food plants by the larva of a number of lepidoptera. To prevent the butterflies from laying too many eggs on any single plant, some passion flowers bear small colored nubs which resemble the butterflies' eggs and seem to fool them into believing that more eggs have already been deposited on a plant than actually is the case. Also, many Passiflora species produce sweet nutrient-rich liquid from glands on their leaf stems. These fluids attract ants which will kill and eat many pests that they happen to find feeding on the passion flowers. Lepidoptera larvae are known to feed on the following:
Banana passion flower or "banana poka" (P. tarminiana), originally from Central Brazil, is an invasiveweed, especially on the islands of Hawaii. It is commonly spread by feralpigs eating the fruits. It overgrows and smothers stands of endemic vegetation, mainly on roadsides. Blue passion flower (P. caerulea) is holding its own in Spain these days, and it probably needs to be watched so that unwanted spreading can be curtailed.
On the other hand, some species are endangered due to unsustainable logging and other forms of habitat destruction. For example, the Chilean passion flower (P. pinnatistipula) is a rare vine growing in the Andes from Venezuela to Chile between 2,500 and 3,800 meters altitude, and in Coastal Central Chile, where it occurs in woody Chilean Mediterranean forests. P. pinnatistipula has a round fruit, unusual in Tacsonia group species like banana passion flower and P. mixta, with their elongated tubes and brightly red to rose-colored petals.
A number of species of Passiflora are cultivated outside their natural range for of their beautiful flowers and delicious fruit. Hundreds of hybrids have been named; hybridizing is currently being done extensively for flowers, foliage and fruit. The following hybrids and cultivars have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit:-
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. One blue passion flower or hybrid even grew to large size at Malmö Central Station in Sweden.
Most species have round or elongated edible fruit from two to eight inches long and an inch to two inches across, depending upon the species or cultivar.
The passion fruit or maracujá (P. edulis) is cultivated extensively in the Caribbean, South America, south Florida and South Africa 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 latter is usually considered just a varietyflavicarpa, but seems to be more distinct in fact.[according to whom?]
Sweet granadilla (P. ligularis) is another widely grown species. In large parts of Africa and Australia it is the plant called "passionfruit": confusingly, in South African English the latter species is more often called "granadilla" (without an adjective). Its fruit is somewhat intermediate between the two sold as P. edulis.
Maypop (P. 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 −20 °C (−4 °F) 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 edible fruit and few pests.
Giant granadilla (giant tumbo or badea, P. quadrangularis), water lemon (P. laurifolia) and sweet calabash (P. maliformis) are Passiflora species locally famed for their fruit, but not widely known elsewhere yet.
The medical utility of only a few species of Passiflora has been scientifically studied. In initial study in 2001 for treatment of generalized anxiety disorder, maypop extract performed as well as oxazepam but with fewer short-term side effects. It was recommended to follow up with long-term studies to confirm these results.
A study performed on mice demonstrated that Passiflora alata has a genotoxic effect on cells, and suggested further research was recommended before this one species is considered safe for human consumption.
Passionflower is reputed to have sedative effects and has been used in sedative products in Europe, but in 1978, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration prohibited its use in over-the-counter sedative preparations because it had not been proven safe and effective. In 2011, the University of Maryland Medical Center reported that passionflower "... can trigger side effects and can interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, you should take herbs with care, under the supervision of a health care provider."
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rated passionflower with a GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) status for use in foods in the US, and is “possibly safe when used orally and appropriately for short-term medicinal purposes,” “possibly unsafe when used in excessive amounts,” but unsafe when used orally during pregnancy since“…passionflower constituents show evidence of uterine stimulation.” The database suggests it is possibly effective for adjustment disorder with anxious mood, anxiety, and opiate withdrawal, but it “can cause dizziness, confusion, sedation, and ataxia” and there are some reports of more severe side effects including vasculitis and altered consciousness. A 34-year-old woman required hospitalization for IV hydration and cardiac monitoring following use of passionflower for therapeutic purposes. Passionflower received a moderate rating for interaction with anti-hypertensive and depressant drugs.
The blue and white colors of many species' flowers represent Heaven and Purity.
The flower has been given names related to this symbolism throughout Europe since that time. In Spain, it is known as espina de Cristo ("Christ's thorn"). Older Germanic names include Christus-Krone ("Christ's crown"), Christus-Strauss ("Christ's bouquet"), Dorn-Krone ("crown of thorns"), Jesus-Lijden ("Jesus' passion"), Marter ("passion") or Muttergottes-Stern ("Mother of God's star").
Outside the Christian heartland, the regularly shaped flowers have reminded people of the face of a clock. In Israel they are known as "clock-flower" (שעונית) and in Greece as "clock plant" (ρολογιά); in Japan too, they are known as tokeisō (時計草, "clock plant"). In Hawaiian, they are called lilikoʻi;lī is a string used for tying fabric together, such as a shoelace, and liko means "to spring forth leaves".
In India, blue passionflowers are called Krishnakamala in Karnataka and Maharashtra, while in Uttar Pradesh and generally north it is colloquially called "Paanch Paandav". The flower's structure lends itself to the interpretation along the lines of five Pandavas, the Divine Krishna at centre, and the opposing hundred at the edges. The colour blue is moreover associated with Krishna as colour of his aura.
Passiflora is the most species rich genus of both the family Passifloraceae and the tribe Passifloreae. With over 530 species, an extensive hierarchy of infrageneric ranks is required to represent the relationships of the species. The infrageneric classification of Passiflora not only uses the widely used ranks of subgenus, section and series, but also the rank of supersection.
The New World species of Passiflora were divided among 22 subgenera by Killip (1938). More recent work reduces these to 4 - Astrophea (Americas, 57 species), Deidamioides (Americas, 17 species), Passiflora (Americas, >200 species) and Decaloba (Americas, Asia and Australasia, >200 species). Other studies have shown that the segregate Old World genera Hollrungia and Tetrapathaea are nested within Passiflora, and form a fifth subgenus (Tetrapathaea).
The Old World species form two clades - supersection Disemma (part of subgenus Decaloba) and subgenus Tetrapathaea. The former is composed of 21 species divided into sections Disemma (3 Australian species), Holrungiella (1 New Guinean species) and Octandranthus (17 south and east Asian species).
The remaining (New World) species of subgenus Decaloba are divided into 7 supersections. Supersection Pterosperma includes 4 species from Central America and southern Mexico. Supersection Hahniopathanthus includes 5 species from Central America, Mexico and northernmost South America. Supersection Cicea includes 19 species, with apetalous flowers. Supersection Bryonioides includes 21 species, with a distribution centered on Mexico. Supersection Auriculata includes 8 species from South America, one of which is also found in Central America. Supersection Multiflora includes 19 species. Supersection Decaloba includes 123 species.
^"Passionflower in the treatment of generalized anxiety: a pilot double-blind randomized controlled trial with oxazepam". Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics 26 (5): 363–367. October 2001. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2710.2001.00367.x.
Akhondzadeh, Shahin; Naghavi, H.R.; Vazirian, M.; Shayeganpour, A.; Rashidi, H. & Khani, M. (2001): Passionflower in the treatment of generalized anxiety: a pilot double-blind randomized controlled trial with oxazepam. Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics 26(5): 363-367. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2710.2001.00367.xPDF fulltext
Dana, E.D.; Sanz-Elorza, M. & Sobrino, E. : Plant Invaders in Spain Check-List. PDF fulltext
Dhawan, Kamaldeep; Kumar, Suresh & Sharma, Anupam (2002): Beneficial Effects of Chrysin and Benzoflavone on Virility in 2-Year-Old Male Rats. Journal of Medicinal Food 5(1): 43-48. doi:10.1089/109662002753723214 (HTML abstract)