Passionflower (Passifloraceae), Maypop fruit

Main Facts about Passionflower

Passionflower (Passifloraceae), Maypop fruit
Passionflower (Passifloraceae), Maypop fruit
Passionflower is a short-lived perennial native vine to the southeastern US, with gorgeous flowers and interesting foliage. There are about 500 species. 10 white petals with purple corona of multicolored rays, 5 stamens, and a pistil with 3 stigmas. Flowers have lots of purple threads radiating out underneath. The egg shaped and sized fruits vary depending on the type of the plant. One is an orange color with red gooey seeds inside (Passiflora caerulea). The other is green when ripe and contains strange seeds individually wrapped in a clear sac. (Maypop, Passiflora incarnata). The names passionflower and passion fruit sound "passionate," but they have nothing in common with passionate love. In fact, the names are connected to the torments and Passion of Jesus on the cross, and therefore passionflower is commonly referred to as the “Flowers of Jesus.” The name "passion fruit" is not derived from any aphrodisiac quality of the fruit but was reportedly named by Spanish Catholic missionaries who saw the flower as the symbolism of the Passion of Christ in which Passus means "suffering" and Flos means "flower."

Using Passionflower

The leaves and flowers are an important nervine sedative and are used to help promote sleep and alleviate pain, such as menstrual cramps and headaches. Make tea from the flowers to relax. The whole plant is used as an antispasmotic and relaxant for anxiety, nervous disorders, epilepsy, neuralgia, restlessness, inflammation, lower blood pressure. Passion fruit oil is extracted from the seeds and composed mainly of linoleic acid (77%) with smaller amounts of oleic acid (15%) and palmitic acid (10%). It has varied applications in cosmetics manufacturing.

Passionflower is a remedy for: Anxiety

Cooking with Passionflower

The whole plant is edible. The fruit is both eaten and juiced; passion fruit juice is often added to other fruit juices to enhance aroma. It is added to fruit salads, and fresh fruit pulp or passion fruit sauce is commonly used in desserts.

How to grow Passionflower

The purple passion fruit grows best in a subtropical climate while the yellow passion fruit prefers a tropical climate with full-season warm days and nights. The annual rainfall for optimum growth should be at least 900 mm. Passion fruit tolerates a wide variety of soils and grows best on well-drained sandy loams with a pH of 6.5 to 7.5. Passion fruit is moderately intolerant of shade and requires trees, bushes or fences for support. It is weedy in much of its native range; and fairly easy to grow elsewhere, especially if its given a wall or trellis to climb up. It often thrives for several years sending up new shoots far from the parent vine with its copious runners, and then the whole colony will up and die. Its disappearance is not related to the coldness of the winter, it appears to be a short-lived perennial.