Passiflora paulensis Killip
Common Name: Passion Flower
Passiflora actinia is a fairly fast-growing, slender, wiry-stemmed, evergreen climbing shrub producing stems up to 10 metres long[
]. These stems scramble over the ground, or clamber into the surrounding vegetation, supporting themselves by means of coiling tendrils.
The edible fruit is gathered from the wild for local consumption. The plant is sometimes grown as an ornamental.
S. America - southern and eastern Brazil (Rio Grande do Sul to Espirito Santo).
Mainly found in shady positions in forests, occasionally on the forest edges or in more shrubby formations[
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A plant of the tropics and subtropics, found at elevations from 350 metres and above. Plants can tolerate occasional temperatures as low as -5°c[
Requires a humus-rich, moist but well-drained soil and a position in dappled shade[
]. Prefers a circumneutral soil, disliking very acid or very alkaline conditions[
]. Passiflora species tend to flower and fruit more freely when grown in soils of only moderate fertility[
When growing plants in regions near the limits of their cold tolerance, the top growth will usually be killed by winter cold. However, so long as the root is well mulched and is in a very well-drained soil, the plant will usually grow back from the base in the spring[
The plant is very suitable for growing in pots in a conservatory or even in a south-facing window[
Plants produce tendrils and climb by attaching these to other plants.
Plants require a temperature no lower than around 16°c when they are flowering in order to ensure fruit set[
If fruit is required, specially when the plant is growing indoors, it is best to hand pollinate using pollen from a flower that has been open for 12 hours to pollinate a newly opened flower before midday[
]. The flowers open in sunny weather and do not open on dull cloudy days[
Plants are very tolerant of pruning and can be cut back to ground level if required to rejuvenate the plant[
Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[
Fruit - raw or cooked[
]. A sweet flavour that is greatly appreciated[
]. The fruit has a very fragrant pulp[
]. The yellow, ovoid to subglobose fruit is around 35 - 50mm in diameter[
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[
This species can possibly be used as a rootstock for species such as Passiflora alata and Passiflora quadrangularis. It should confer greater hardiness and also have a dwarfing effect on the grafted plants[
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[