Plant Profile: Purple Passionflower, Passiflora incarnata
This post is one of a series from professor Nisse Goldberg's Biology students at Jacksonville University.
|Figure 1. Corona of banded filaments on|
P. incarnata. Photo credit: Asit K. Ghosh.
Specific epithet: incarnata
The striking Passiflora incarnata (also called purple passionflower and maypop) is one of six native Passiflora species in Florida. Purple passionflower is a liana (a woody vine) that is found throughout the state, often in open and disturbed areas. This fast-growing vine is listed as an invasive elsewhere in the US because it spreads easily, growing from suckers at the roots.
|Figure 2. Fritillary caterpillar noshing on|
P. incarnata. Photo credit: Capital Gal
Passionflower is a host for gulf fritallary and zebra longwing butterfly larvae, which can often be seen gobbling up the vine's palmately lobed leaves (Figure 2). The fruit is an egg-sized yellow-green berry that is delicious to humans and animals alike (Figure 3).
|Figure 3. Passionflower fruit.|
Photo credit: Asit K. Ghosh.
- Leaves can be infused in tea to treat insomnia and soothe ruffled nerves or ground into a poultice to treat cuts and bruises.
- Roots have even been used to treat earaches!
-Judd, WS, Campbell, SC, Kellogg, EA, Stevens, PF, and Donoghue, ML. 2008. Plant systematics: A phylogenetic approach. Sinauer Associates, Inc. Massachusetts, USA.
-Wunderlin, RP and Hansen, BF. 1998. Guide to the Vascular Plants of Florida. Gainesville: University of Florida.
Figure 1. http://florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Photo.aspx?id=5956
Figure 2. http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3498/4002124516_43daf0b415_n.jpg
Figure 3. http://florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Photo.aspx?id=8606