Passion Vine

Passiflora spp.

There are more than 400 species of Passiflora. Passiflora arida is from southern Arizona, Sonora and Baja California. Passiflora arizonica is found in Pima and Santa Cruz counties and only grows to 10′. Passiflora incarnata (Maypop) is another popular species that originates in South America.

In 1620, Catholic priests in Peru attached religious symbolism to this plant. The name ‘passion flower’ is said to derive from a resemblance of the blue passion vine’s flower to the crown of thorns placed on Christ’s head. Others say that the parts of the plant symbolize features of Crucifixion, known as The Passion of Christ. In any event, the exquisite flowers look like they are from outer space. There are dozens of passion vine cultivars producing either edible or non-edible fruits

Public ASU

Flowers: J F M A M J J A S O N D
Status: Various
Origin: Various
Family: Passifloraceae
Size: 30′
Sun: Partial shade to full shade. In Phoenix, passion vines grow best on an east or north exposure.
Watering: Requires regular irrigation in low desert gardens
Growth Rate:
Soil: Fertilize to supply required nutrient levels (2-1-3 NPK)
Temperature: Freezes below 28 degrees F
Pruning: To control spread as needed
Disease and Pests:
Uses: Host plant for Gulf Fritillary and Variegated Fritillary butterflies (note that some Passiflora species are preferred above others – Maypop is an example of an excellent host species). Nectar plant for carpenter bees.
Notes: These vines can get very large and heavy, so make sure to provide strong support. They will also grow into a tree or shrub and may overwhelm them.

There is some hypotheses that this plant is evolving into an insectivorous plant. The hairs around the flowers and fruit are sticky and attract small insects, and specialized cells can absorb the nutrients of insects who fall victim to the stickiness and get trapped.

Spadefoot Nursery


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