Monactineirma mexicana (Juss.) Bory
Passiflora contrayerva Sm.
Passiflora mexicana is a perennial climbing plant, attaching itself to nearby vegetation by means of tendrils.
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a tea.
Southern N. America - southern Arizona to southern Mexico (Oaxaca)
Riparian woodlands, semiarid shrublands; at elevations from 600 - 1,400 metres[
Passiflora species generally grow best in a sheltered, sunny position or in dappled shade. Most species are found in the wild in moist but well-drained soils, generally of a lighter texture, and will often flower and fruit more heavily if the soil fertility is low. They often develop deep roots and can be moderately tolerant of dry spells. Most Passiflora species prefer a neutral to slightly alkaline soil, growing best where the pH is around 6. 5 - 7.5[
The flowers have a foetid aroma[
The leaves are used as a tea substitute[
The purple-black, globose to subellipsoid fruits are 8 - 16mm long and 7 - 14mm wide[
]. There are no reports regarding edibility, though the fruits of most, if not all Passiflora species are more or less edible when fully ripe[
]. There are reports, however, for a few species, that the unripe fruit can be unwholesome.
The leaves and roots of some, if not all, members of this genus contain a substance called 'passiflorina' which has similaritiesr to morphine and is an effective tranquilizer[
]. We have no specific information for this species but many species are used in herbal infusions to calm the nerves and help bring about a restful sleep[
The leaves of many species are also considered to be anthelmintic, antihysteric and diaphoretic. They are used in Brazil to combat intermittent fevers, cutaneous inflammations, and erysipelas[
Pre-soak the seed for 12 hours in warm water and then sow late winter or early spring in a warm greenhouse. If sown in January and grown on fast it can flower and fruit in its first year[
]. The seed germinates in 1 - 12 months at 20°c. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. It you are intending to grow the plants outdoors, it is probably best to keep them in the greenhouse for their first winter and plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Mulch the roots well in late autumn to protect them from the cold.
Cuttings of young shoots, 15cm with a heel, in spring[
Leaf bud cuttings in spring.
Cuttings of fully mature wood in early summer. Takes 3 months. High percentage[