Passionflowers

Blue Passionflower Blue Passionflower Blue Passionflower Blue Passionflower

What are they?

Passionflower is well known to gardeners as a vigorous, ornamental climber, while others may be more familiar with passion fruit as a food or drink. The passionflower family (Passifloraceae) is a large family of mostly tropical plants, with very few being hardy enough to grow outdoors in our temperate climate. The name of the plant comes from the passion of Christ with the parts of the unusual flower structure long being associated by some with the death of Jesus Christ.

Where are they found?

Although the Blue Passionflower is popular as a garden plant, its relative tenderness means that it is rarely found away from obvious plantings. However there are just a few reports of plants surviving from dumped garden waste or possibly self-seeding in the slightly milder climates of inner city areas.

Identification

When in flower, passionflowers are unmistakeable with anything else and only one species has so far been found at large in the region. Young, non-flowering plants can be recognised by their fingered leaves and long, spring-like tendrils.



Blue Passionflower      Passiflora caerulea

Introduced as a garden plant from the southern tropics of South America. Grown as a climbing plant and very rarely occurring surviving in urban environments. Flowers June to October or later. The glossy, fingered leaves and spectacular flowers are unmistakeable. Late in the season, orange fruits a little larger than a hen's egg may develop if the weather is mild but plants are soon knocked back by the first frosts.

Blue Passionflower Blue Passionflower Blue Passionflower Blue Passionflower
Habit
Flowers (Male above,
female below)
Leaves
Fruit