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Published In: Species Plantarum 2: 959. 1753. (1 May 1753) (Sp. Pl.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 9/1/2017)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 7/9/2009)
Status: Native


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1. Passiflora incarnata L. (May pops, apricot vine, passion flower)

Pl. 477 a, b; Map 2181

Stems 3–10 m long, glabrous to finely hairy. Petioles to 3–8 cm long, finely hairy, with two prominent glands toward the tip. Leaf blades deeply 3-lobed, 6–15 cm long along the midvein, about as long as wide, the lobes usually tapered to a sharp point at the tip, the margins finely glandular-toothed, the upper surface glabrous, dark green, the undersurface sparsely and minutely hairy, lighter green, often also somewhat glaucous. Stipules 2–3 mm long, linear to narrowly lanceolate, withering and sometimes shed as the leaves develop. Flower stalks 4–10 cm long, relatively stout, elongating somewhat at fruiting. Flowers 4–9 cm wide, subtended by 2–4 leaflike bracts, these 4–6 mm long, elliptic to oblanceolate, the margins with minute glandular teeth and a pair of larger glands toward the base. Sepals 25–30 mm long, 6–8 mm wide narrowly oblong-elliptic, green on the outside, whitish lavender on the inside, each with the midrib having a prominent hornlike awn to 5 mm long toward the tip. Petals 22–25 mm long, 5–6 mm wide, narrowly oblong-elliptic, white or more commonly pale lavender to lavender. Corona filaments in several series, the outer 2 series similar, 20–30 mm long, pink or lavender to purple with white to whitish yellow crossbands toward the base, the innermost series about 2 mm long, white to whitish yellow with purple tips. Ovary densely velvety-hairy. Fruits 3–6 cm long, globose to oblong-ellipsoid, greenish yellow to yellowish orange when ripe. Seeds numerous, 4–6 mm long, 3–4 mm wide, obovate in outline, broadly rounded to more or less truncate at the tip, the surface coarsely pitted, white to light brown. 2n=18, 36. June–September.

Scattered, mostly south of the Missouri River (eastern [mostly southeastern] U.S. west to Kansas and Texas). Banks of streams and rivers, margins of bottomland forests, and moist depressions of upland prairies; also fallow fields, fencerows, railroads, roadsides, and open disturbed areas, often in sandy soil.

Steyermark (1963) considered this species to occur natively only in southeastern and southwestern Missouri, stating that populations elsewhere in the southern half of the state were introduced. Although the native range of P. incarnata in Missouri is not completely understood, apparently native occurrences have been recorded at least as far north as Morgan County.

This species is probably the hardiest of all passion flowers. The large fruits are edible, either eaten fresh or used to make jams. Extrafloral nectaries occur on the petioles, floral bracts, and occasionally the leaf blades in this species. Nectar is secreted for the life of the leaf and is relatively high in amino acids (Durkee, 1983). The functional importance of extrafloral nectaries has been studied in this species (McLain, 1983). Plants in which the extrafloral nectaries were experimentally removed attracted fewer ants, experienced greater herbivory, and set fewer fruits than plants with intact extrafloral nectaries. The leaves have antispasmodic and sedative properties and are used in herbal preparations to treat nervous disorders. This species is frequently visited by large carpenter bees and bumble bees.



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