The passiflora more commonly known as the “passion flower vine” is one of the “new” vines introduced for spring color offerings available at garden centers.
If you’re ready to add a conversation plant and something really unique to the outside patio, take a look at the “passion vine”.
Passiflora From Brazil
The purple passion fruit makes its home from southern Brazil through Paraguay and in parts northern Argentina. Before 1900, passion fruit was partially naturalized and flourishing in coastal areas of Australia.
Seeds of the passion fruit, were brought from Australia to Hawaii and first planted in 1880. It wasn’t long, because of its fast growing nature that the passiflora vine became popular in home gardens.
Passion vines prefers a frost-free climate. Some cultivars can take temperatures into the upper 20′s (F) without serious damage.
The “Blue Passion Vine” is pretty cold hardy and salt tolerant but the plant does not grow well in intense summer heat. The yellow passion fruit is tropical and isn’t fond of frost. The purple and yellow forms both need protection from the wind.
They make quite a few products from the plant and fruit – Like tea. Another interesting item about the Passiflora is that they are very popular with butterflies.
There are dozens of passion vines, both edible and non-edible. Our focus will be on the ornamental variety.
Question: Are the fruits of passion flowers edible?
Answer: Many species of passion flowers bear edible fruits. among them, Passiflora data, antioquiensis, edula, incarnate (the Maypop of southern US), laurifolia, ligularis, and maliformis.
Culture And Care Of The Passion Flower Vine
Location of Passion Fruit
Care for the passion fruit vines requires full sun except during those very hot summer days, if possible provide some partial shade. The vine is a fast grower and can get out of hand, so if possible plant it next to a chain link fence or on a trellis.
Water & Soil
The vines grow in many soil types but make sure the plant gets excellent drainage. If you want to keep the vines flowering almost continuously, regular water is necessary. The vines are shallow-rooted, and will benefit from a thick layer of organic mulch.
Passiflora vines are vigorous growers and require regular fertilizing. Stay away from just using a 20-20-20 liquid fertilizer.
This may promote good growth but possibly too much green and not enough flower. Use a solid fertilizer with a ratio more along the lines of a 2-1-3.
6 Things To Remember When Buying Passiflora Plants
- Find out when your nursery receives new shipments
- Look for clean undamaged foliage
- Inspect the plants for good root systems
- Don’t let them hang out the window on the ride home
- Don’t let them sit in the car while you run into the store.
- They must acclimate to their new environment
Video showing many varieties of Passion Vines
Exotic Passion Flowers Have Been Symbolized With The Crucifixion
Early missionaries devoted to botany saw in the flowers a religious symbol. The flower parts, indicated in image, suggested to them the Passion of Christ, and thus the flower was named.
These exotic flowers have been symbolized with the crucifixion and sometimes look like they resemble something from outer space.
- 1 – Ten petals represent the ten apostles present at the crucifixion, Peter and Judas being absent;
- 2 – Corona or crown represents the crown of thorns or thought to be emblematic of the halo
- 3 – Five anthers suggestive of the five wounds or emblematic of hammers used to drive nails
- 4 – Three stigmas representative of the three nails piercing the hands and the feet.
Not shown are the tendrils representing cords or whips and the leaves suggesting the hands of the persecutors.
The passion flower was one of the treasures found by the Spaniards in the new world.
Years later taxonomists classified the plants in a large family containing many species and a great number of hybrids.
Today, probably the best known hybrid is Passiflora alata-caerulea.
It has the largest and showiest flowers of them all and is a hybrid between Passiflora alata and Passiflora caerulea.
Principal Passiflora Species & Hybrids
Passiflora alata, has winged stems, large fragrant flowers of crimson, purple and white, and yellow edible fruit about 5 in. long.
Passiflora ‘Alata-Caerulea’ – a hybrid between these two, favorite with three-parted green leaves and fragrant four-inch flowers. The petals and fringed crown combine pink, white, blue, and royal purple.
Passiflora antioquiensis – Seeds are available for this South American species with five-inch red flowers, three-lobed leaves, edible fruit.
Passiflora bryonoldes – Dainty vine with blue-and-white flowers, rose-fringed crown; black fruit, orange seed.
Passiflora caerulea – “Blue-crowned” passiflora with five-parted leaves and flowers in blue, rose, and pale green. The egg-shaped yellow fruit is edible. This is one of the more hardy species. Its variety, grandiflora, has larger flowers.
Passiflora cinnabarina – Scarlet flowers followed by round green fruit. Seed is available.
Passiflora coccinea – Toothed oval leaves, free-flowering species with scarlet and orange flowers.
Passiflora coriacea – Blue-green butterfly leaves splashed with silver; flowers pale green, yellow, purplish, and brown.
Passiflora edulis – passionfruit, or purple granadilla – Three-lobed leaves, two-inch flowers white and purple fruit about the size of a hen’s egg, fruit used in many recipes in the tropics. Grown as a commercial crop in Australia, incarnata (maypop) is a native; fruit edible; flowers white, pink and purple.
Passiflora exoniensis a hybrid between Passiplora vanvolxensi and Passiplora mollissima, has large showy flowers of brick-red and rose-pink.
Passiflora foetida – Three-pointed leaves; two-inch flowers pinkish, with three fern-like fronds below the sepals. Brillant red fruit used in dried arrangements.
Passiflora incarnata – maypop, May apple, wild passion flower – Southern native, hardy with light frost, with three-inch blue-and-white flowers.
Passiflora laurifolia (Jamaica-honeysuckle) has entire leaves, white flowers spotted red, and yellow edible fruit.
Passiflora lutea – Hardy, and often native from Philadelphia south; one-inch yellow flowers.
Passiflora manicata is a rapid and vigorous climber, suitable for outdoor planting in the warmer parts of the country. It makes a fine show with its profusion of bright scarlet flowers set off with a blue crown.
Passiflora mollissima – Three-lobed, fuzzy leaves; three-inch rose flowers.
Passiflora quadrangularis – giant (Granadilla) one of the chief species grown for fruit. It is a tall strong grower, with large fragrant flowers of white, red and purple, and yellowish-green fruits to 9 in. long.
Passiflora racemosa (princeps) – Four-inch crimson flowers touched with purple and white, deeply lobed leaves, is one of the best of the red-flowered species, and has been largely used in hybridizing.
Passiflora tomentosa – Fuzzy vine with pink and purple flowers.
Passiflora trifasdata – Bronzy leaves banded with silvery pink and lined with purple underneath; yellow flowers small and fragrant.
Common Name: Passion Flower