Characteristics: Perennial plant of the Passifloraceae family up to 9 m. Climbing stems with tendrils, ligneous. Alternate leaves, trilobed, dark green; new buds reddish. Creamy flowers with pink shades. Edible fruits, egg-shaped.
Curiosities: The name of Passionflower was granted by the likeness of the interior drawing of the corolla with the crown of thorns of Jesus Christ. The quantity of stamens also remembers the 5 wounds in his body, the three styles, to the three nails with he was nailed the the cross and the petals represent the apostles.
Types of passion flower
Coming from South America, they have been exported to the tropical regions of Africa and Asia. There are about 500 species of this gender in their origin place. All they are eatable, although there are some that are more appropriate as food than others. For example:
- Passiflora caeurulea: The fruit of blue passionflower (Passiflora caeurulea), described above are not so exploited commercially as those previously seen, but it is also eatable and it presents the same medicinal properties of the other ones.
- Passiflora ligularis: It is called sweet granadilla because of its sweetness. It grows in Mexico.
- Passiflora incarnata: it produces a fruit that sometimes reaches the size of a melon . It is generally consumed in marmalades in some southern states of USA It was already used by the old Aztecs to treat the bites of the snakes, reason why is was known as " Tongue of snake" and the first Indian natives used it like a food and as disinfectant. ( Image and information about this species)
- Passiflora maliformis: It is called Yellow skin. It comes from Brazil. Very aromatic and bittersweet, it is used in flavour industry.
- Passionaria vitifolia: Native from central America and South America. It presents very big flowers that can reach 10 cm. Its eatable fruits taste to strawberry.
- Passiflora quadrangularis: With an oblong very flavorful fruit, having many medicinal properties for the treatment of cholesterol. The root is poisonous and it is used to eliminate the intestinal worms. In its composition serotonin has been discovered , a potent neurotransmitter, necessary for the good state of the nervous system and whose deficiencies are responsible for pathologies like depression, certain types of obesity, obsessive behaviors, insomnia, migraines, etc. It is the plant that contains the highest quantity of niacin.
- Passiflora antioquiensis: Native from Colombia with elliptic yellow fruits and leaves till 15 cm long
- Passionaria mollissima: It produces very early and copious fruits. Its content in sugar is lower than in the rest of the passionflowers. It is known as tacso, archa or tumbo, depending of the different places.
- Passiflora laurifolia: Native from Colombia and Peru, with yellow fruit till 8 cm long, very similar to lemon, and flowers with reddish petals on one side and greenish in the other one. As in Passiflora quadrangularis, its roots are good to carry out decoctions to eliminate intestinal worms.
Uses of passiflora
- Medicinal uses of passiflora : Passionflower constitutes one of the best remedies against all type of nervous manifestations, especially for anxiety. Contrary to other treatments, this plant doesn't present contraindications. Most of the tranquilizers, especially those of chemical nature, have an immediate effect but they produce non desirable effects as the habituation ( More information about Passion flower supplement in the listing above)
- Edible uses of passiflora: Passion flower fruits are eatable ( provided that they should be eaten raw to avoid being toxic) They are commonly known as passion fruits , maracuyas or granadillas. ( More information about Passion flower fruit in the listing above)
More information on passion flower in the listing above