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AWhen Do Passion Flowers Bloom

AWhen Do Passion Flowers Bloom

AWhen Do Passion Flowers Bloom

Passion flowers have unique floral structures, which in most cases require biotic pollination. Pollinators of Passiflora include bumblebees, carpenter bees (e.g., Xylocopa sonorina), wasps, bats, and hummingbirds (especially hermits such as Phaethornis); some others are additionally capable of self-pollination. Passiflora often exhibit high levels of pollinator specificity, which has led to frequent coevolution across the genus. The sword-billed hummingbird (Ensifera ensifera) is a notable example: it, with its immensely elongated bill, is the sole pollinator of 37 species of high Andean Passiflora in the supersection Tacsonia.

Passion

Banana passion flower or "banana poka" (P. tarminiana), originally from Central Brazil, is an invasive weed, especially on the islands of Hawaii. It is commonly spread by feral pigs eating the fruits. It overgrows and smothers stands of endemic vegetation, mainly on roadsides. Blue passion flower (P. caerulea) is holding its own in Spain these days, and it probably needs to be watched so that unwanted spreading can be curtailed.On the other hand, some species are endangered due to unsustainable logging and other forms of habitat destruction. For example, the Chilean passion flower (P. pinnatistipula) is a rare vine growing in the Tropical Andes southwards from Venezuela between 2,500 and 3,800 meters altitude, and in Coastal Central Chile, where it only occurs in a few tens of square kilometres of fog forest by the sea, near Zapallar. P. pinnatistipula has a round fruit, unusual in Tacsonia group species like banana passion flower and P. mixta, with their elongated tubes and brightly red to rose-colored petals.

Other compounds found in passion flowers are coumarins (e.g. scopoletin and umbelliferone), maltol, phytosterols (e.g. lutenin) and cyanogenic glycosides (e.g. gynocardin) which render some species, i.e. P. adenopoda, somewhat poisonous. Many flavonoids and their glycosides have been found in Passiflora, including apigenin, benzoflavone, homoorientin, 7-isoorientin, isoshaftoside, isovitexin (or saponaretin), kaempferol, lucenin, luteolin, n-orientin, passiflorine (named after the genus), quercetin, rutin, saponarin, shaftoside, vicenin and vitexin. Maypop, blue passion flower (P. caerulea), and perhaps others contain the flavone chrysin. Also documented to occur at least in some Passiflora in quantity are the hydrocarbon nonacosane and the anthocyanidin pelargonidin-3-diglycoside.PASSION FLOWER is a woody vine that has unusual blossoms. Roman Catholic priests of the lat 1500's named it for the Passion (suffering and death) of Jesus Christ. They believed that several parts of the plant, including the petals, rays, and sepals, symbolized features of the Passion. The flower's five petals and five petallike sepals represented the 10 apostles who remained faithful to Jesus throughout the Passion. The circle of hairlike rays above the petals suggested the crown of thorns that Jesus wore on the day of His death. (Source: aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu)

 

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