Decaloba bryonioides (Kunth) M.Roem.
Passiflora inamoena A.Gray
Passiflora bryonioides is a clump-forming, herbaceous perennial plant producing annual, climbing stems 50 - 200cm long from a thickened woody rotstock. The stems attach themselves to the surrounding vegetation by means of tendrils[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food.
Southwestern N. America - southern Arizona to southern Mexico (Oaxaca)
Semi-arid thorn scrub, grassy chaparral-type vegetation (Ilano espinoso), canyons in arid areas, or sometimes in open dry grassy low oak or pine forest; at elevations from 1,100 - 2,150 metres[
Passiflora bryonioides is found from the semi-arid, subtropical climate of Arizona, south to the moist tropics of southern Mexico. Not a very cold hardy plant, when dormant it can tolerate short periods with temperatures falling to around -8°c[
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 plant tolerates disturbance well, often climbing inside shrubs to emerge at their tops, especially in grazed areas; in
rangeland it is a plant of hedgerows[
Fruit - raw[
]. The juicy, watery arils of the fruit are prized by children and are sometimes also eaten as a thirst-quencher by adults[
]. The pale green or light yellowish green, ovoid or ellipsoid fruit is 35 - 45mm long (including a 2 - 9mm long stipe) and 20 - 25mm in diameter[
]. The translucent, whitish to yellowish white, fleshy arils are 11 - 15mm long, gelatinous in texture with a sweet, somewhat fruity-scented aroma[
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 mid winter 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[