passion flower



Juss. ex Roussel

pronounced: pass-ih-flor-AY-see-eye

the passionfruit family


Passiflora is from the Latin passio, passion, and flora, a flower. These plants are mostly woody or herbaceous vines that climb by means of axillary tendrils. The leaves are alternate, petiolate, entire or lobed, commonly with estrafloral nectaries on the petiole. Stipules are usually present. The flowers are radially symmetrical, male, female or bisexual, with a calyx of 5 sepals, free or connate below. There are 5 petals, alternate with the sepals, free or on a gynophore; there is an extrastaminal corona with one or more rows of filament-like processes. There is usually a single-chambered ovary consisting of 3 – 5 carpels, with numerous ovules attached to the inner ovary walls. The stamens are below the ovary, and usually both are carried on the end of a stalk, although sometimes only the ovary is carried there. Nearly all species have seeds with an aril. The fruits are capsules or berries.


Photograph © Donald Simpson 2010