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Passion flower

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Passion flower
Mewtate - fuzzy bumble collecting pollen (by).jpg
Scientific Classification

Subfamily: Malesherbioideae

  • Malesherbia

Subfamily: Passifloroideae

  • Adenia
  • Adenoa
  • Ancistrothyrsus
  • Androsiphonia
  • Barteria
  • Basananthe
  • Crossostemm
  • Deidamia
  • Dilkea
  • Efulensia
  • Erblichia
  • Hyalocalyx
  • Loewia
  • Mathurina
  • Mitostemma
  • Paropsia
  • Paropsiopsis
  • Passiflora
  • Piriqueta
  • Schlechterina
  • Smeathmannia
  • Stapfiella
  • Streptopetalum
  • Tricliceras
  • Turnera
  • Viridivia

Subfamily: Turneroideae

  • Adenoa
  • Erblichia
  • Hyalocalyx
  • Loewia
  • Mathurina
  • Piriqueta
  • Stapfiella
  • Streptopetalum
  • Tricliceras
  • Turnera [2]
Passiflora foetida-a.jpg
Image of Passiflora foetida

Passion Flowers are any of the species of flowers belonging to the taxonomic family Passifloraceae. It has one of the most intriguing, yet beautiful designs of any flower - most notable the bright and rich colors of its corolla. They can be found growing in tropical locations, but with the right temperature, moisture and soil it could grow anywhere. Other than their striking flower, they are perhaps best known for their very meaningful name. Each part of the Passion Flower symbolizes something in Jesus' Crucifixion and can be used to tell the story itself.

"And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these." Matthew 6:28-29

Body Design

An up closes look at the design of the Passion Flower.

The passion flower has extremely distinguishable reproductive parts and fragrant a corolla (the part of the flower that attracts pollinators) that has a fragrance. [3] Usually they have five petals with five sepals. The differences between the sepal and petal are that the sepals have a green hook or an awn at the tip of them. Also, they usually have a corona with filaments shaped like a rod. In the Blue Passion-Flower the corona has a double layer that consists of padi and radii. In most passion flowers there are many glands that have a roundish bulge at the bases of bracts(these are modified leaves) and these bracts close up the buds.[4]These parts all create the unusual design of this flower.

Life Cycle

The passion flower starts as a dormant seed. This seed can usually be germinated by the right temperature, moisture and soil (some seeds need smoke or stomach acid in order to trigger germination). The Passion flower seed depends completely on the board stored energy until the tip of it grows above the soil. The apical meristem is responsible for everything growing above ground and there is another tip for everything growing underground. After the seed grows a little more and the stem is above the ground it becomes a seedling. The leaves also unfold and grow toward the sun. Other growing tips start to divide off creating more stems. As the stem keeps growing upwards, the roots grow downward out the plant. The Passion Flower continues to grow using photosynthesis and respiration.

Next the flower reaches the bud stage. Once the bud develops enough it has the ability to make fruit. The flower's sequence starts with the master gene, letting it grow buds as it matures. These buds then develop into flowers on the plant. The Passion flower can be pollinated by wind, but is more likely to be pollinated by pollinators. Bees, moths, butterflies and other insects, bats and hummingbirds are some of the pollinators that help the Passion Flower. Then the pollinated Passion flower will wrinkle up as the fruit develops to protect the seed. Once the fruit is ripe it will drop from the plant. Then the cycle starts over again. Passion Flowers can be Annual like the Passiflora Gracilis or Perennial like the Passiflora Incarnata. [5]


Region where Passion Flowers live.

The passion flower can usually be found in rainforests.[6] Its native country is South America. The passion flower has been introduced to a few more place too. The Pacific islands (Cook Islands, Micronesia, French Polynesia, Guam, Hawaii, Niue, New Zealand, Tonga, the Solomon Islands), South Africa, and the Indian Ocean are all place where the flower has been introduced.[7] Since these flowers live in the rainforest regions they need special abiotic factors in order to grow. Three of them are: certain temperature, specific soil, and a certain amount of light.[8]

A passion flower needs a lot to survive. It need at least four hours of sunlight, (if it is growing in a cooler climate it needs more). Winter is never good for them since they are used to only warm climates. They grow best in rich, moist soil and do not handle drought very well. They also have a few pests. These include scale, spider mites, and white flies.[9] Passion flower are helpful to insects as well. Plant ants, certain types of caterpillars, and butterfly larva are some of these insects the passion flower helps.[10]

What is in a Name?

The Passion Flower has this name for a special reason. A Spanish priest gave the flower its name in South America (at that time New Spain). It was originally called "La Flor de las cinco Llagas" which means "The Flower with the Five Wounds". The root "Passionis" means suffering or in this case Christ's suffering. Each part of the flower symbolizes something about the story. The five petals and five sepals are the ten disciples excluding Peter and Judas. The corona filaments (the reproductive part) symbolize the crown of thorns. The five stamens with their anthers represent the five sacred wounds and the three stigmas signify the three nails. This flower tells the entire story of Jesus' Crucifixion. [11]


Up close look at the Blue Passion Flower.



  1. Passiflora L.Passionflower Natural Resources Conservation Service. Web. acessed May 7, 2014 Author Unknown.
  2. Passifloraceae Wikispecies. Web. last modified 25 September 2012. Author Unknown
  3. . My Passion Flower Anatomy Landspro. Web. Accessed May 13, 2014 Author Unknown.
  4. Johnston, Brian. A Close-up View of Two Passion-Flowers:Passiflora caerulea & Passiflora coccinea x incarnata {Hybrid} Mic UK. Web. Published September 2006
  5. . Passiflora Life Cycle Passiflora Online. Web. Accessed May 24, 2014. Author Unknown
  6. Urquhart, Gerald R. Passion Flower (Passiflora sp.) Michigan State University. Web. Accessed May 13, 2014.
  7. Pagad, Shyama.Passiflora edulis (vine, climber) Invasive Species Specialist Group. Web. Last Modified August 16, 2010
  8. Hudock, Aaron. Tropical Rainforest Biome Prezi. Web. Last Updated April 29, 2014.
  9. Iannotti, Marie. Passion Flowers Web. Accessed May 13, 2014.
  10. Blankespoor, Juliet. Passionflower – Ecology, Cultivation, Botany, and Medicinal and Edible Uses Castanea. Web. Posted August 10, 2012 .
  11. . Passiflora History Passiflora Online. Web. Accessed May 24, 2014. Author Unknown