Passion Flower, Maypop, Granadilla
Passiflora is a genus of about 500 species of flowering plants. The majority are vines but include herbaceous and shrub types.with some being shrubs. Passion flowers have a singular structure, whilst some are self-pollinating, most require pollination via bees or hummingburds.
Dependent on the type, most species have circular or ovoid edible fruit ranging from two to eight inches long and an inch to two inches across.
The Passifloraceae family is found worldwide except for the Poles.The family Passifloraceae exist in Africa, but the passiflora are not native to Africa. Passiflora species are native to America, many species are native to South America, China, New Guinea, Southern Asia and Australia with one native plant being found in New Zealand. The purple and yellow passion fruits are grown commercially in many tropical and sub-tropical regions.
The species is an important sources of nectar for numerous insects.
Many Passiflora types secrete nutrient-rich fluids from their leaf stems. These attract ants which protect the plants from harmful pests.
Also known as maypop. they consist of a woody vine with unusual flowers reminiscent of the passion of Christ.
- The blue and white flowers of many speciesstand for Heaven and Purity.
- Pointed tips of the leaves resembled the Holy Lance.
- The radial filaments represent the crown of thorns.
- Tendrils are reminiscent of the whips used in Christs flagellation.
- Ten petals and sepals are likened to ten apostles (St. Peter and Judas Iscariot excluded).
- Three stigmas are the 3 nails and the 5 anthers the 5 wounds.
- A chalice-shaped ovary represents the Holy Grail
Always check with your health professional prior to embarking on a remedial course of alternate remedies!
- Passion flower has a tranquilising affect on the nervous system and is indicated specifically for anxiety and insomnia. It is a non habit forming remedy for anxiety; passion flower has been used for assisting in alleviating alcohol, nicotine and opiate withdrawal. The gentle action cause it to be considered for anxiety based insomnia prior to using Valerian.
- Maypop leaves and roots were used by Native North Americans. Fresh or dried leaves are used for a tea to treat hysteria, insomnia and epilepsy; also valued for its analgesic properties.
- Passion flower is classified as a naturally grown medicinal herb for the treatment of insomnia and nervousness.
- Passion flower reduces spasms and depresses the central nervous system.Also used as a sedative in nervous disorders (including gastrointestinal complaints of nervous origin), difficulties in sleeping, anxiety or restlessness.
Passion flower likes moderately fertile, well-drained but reliably moist soils. Full sun or semi shade is best, but sheltered from cold, drying winds by a south, south-west or west-facing wall. Thrives in any soil type regardless of acidity or alkalinity.
Passion flowers do well in a container with a good quality multipurpose or peat-free compost. Water passion flowers well in the growing season but more sparingly during the winter, allowing the compost surface of container grown plants to start drying out between watering sessions.
Use a general fertiliser for these herb garden plants by following the recommended dosage indicated on the pack.