Passiflora foetida L.

  • Authority

    Britton, Nathaniel L. Flora Borinqueña.

  • Family


  • Scientific Name

    Passiflora foetida L.

  • Description

    Species Description - Peculiar by the curious, finely much-divided bracts which form an involucre immediately under the flower and partly enclose it, giving the plant its English popular name, this Passion-flower, remarkably various in the shape, size and outline of its leaves, is distributed nearly throughout tropical America; the fruit is also of an unusual type, being a nearly dry berry, which makes a rather loud noise if crashed, whence another English name, Pop-bush. This herbaceous vine is common in thickets at lower and middle altitudes in Porto Rico, ascending to about 500 meters, and grows also on the small islands Mona, Vieques, and Culebra; it occasionally is a weed in cultivated grounds. Passiflora (Flower of the Cross, or Passion, as emblematic of the crucifixion) is a Linnaean genus, typified by the North American Passiflora incarnata. The species are very many, estimated about 300, mostly in tropical America, but a few in Asia and Australia. They are climbing or trailing vines, bearing tendrils, the leaves mostly alternate, the flowers axillary, their stalks usually jointed. The calyx is 4-lobed, or 5-lobed its throat bearing a fringed corona; there are usually 4 or 5 petals, but some species have none; the 5 stamens are partly united by their filaments into a tube around the stalk of the ovary, but are separate above, with narrow anthers; the 1-celled ovary contains many ovules. The fruit is a many-seeded berry, the seeds arillate. Passiflora foetida (unpleasantly odorous) is a slender, herbaceous, hairy and glandular-viscid vine, about 2.5 meters long, or much shorter. The thin and flaccid, ovate, or nearly orbicular, slender-stalked leaves are from 3 to 12 centimeters long, 3-lobed, or 3-angled, irregularly toothed, the base more or less heart-shaped, the apex pointed, the finely cut stipules from 5 to 10 millimeters long. The flowers are from 1 to 3 in the axils, on stalks mostly longer than the leaf-stalks; the 3, finely dissected bracts of the involucre are from 2 to 4 centimeters long, their nearly thread-like ultimate divisions tipped by glands; the 5-parted calyx is from 1.5 to 2.5 centimeters long, the white, or pinkish petals about as long; the pink or purple corona has 3 sets of narrow segments. The ovoid, swollen, nearly dry berry is from 2 to 4 centimeters long.

  • Discussion

    Tagua-tagua Love-in-the-Mist Passion-flower Family Passiflora foetida Linnaeus, Species Plantarum 959. 1753.