Learn What They Are, How to Grow Them & Best of All, How to Eat Them
Passion flowers have been known to attract butterflies, bees and hummingbirds. One variety, the Stinking Passion Flower, uses a sticky fluid to attract and digest small insects like gnats. The passion flower is an aggressive vine plant with powerfully beautiful coloring.
Types of Passion Flowers
There are many varieties or crossbreeds of Passiflora, the most recognizable being Amethyst and Lavender Lady. The names are often used interchangeably; however, they are very different plants. The true Lavender Lady will bloom just about year-round with peaks in Spring & Autumn if grown where winter temperatures don’t fall below 35°F, or if grown indoors. It is cold-hardy and, as a semi-evergreen, it has been known to survive in winters that fall as low as 10 degrees. The true Amethyst could be at risk of dying at temperatures in the teens so if your Passion Flower suddenly dies during a cold snap, you’ll know which variety you have.
How to Grow a Passion Flower
A vigorous climber easily achieving a sixteen to twenty foot spread, the Passion Flower will eagerly grow across a fence or trellis. Often more dominant than other vine plants, the Passion Flower will choke out the competition and itself if not pruned yearly.
Passion Flower as a Medical Aid
Passion Flower extract or tea has potential medical applications for the treatment of anxiety, high blood pressure, insomnia and other conditions, though it should not be consumed without a doctor’s approval due to possible drug interactions and dosage concerns.
Passion Flower Fruit
Unlike many fruit-baring plants, the Passion Flower produces a fruit independent of the flower. Usually about the size of a chicken egg, they vary in color from orange and yellow to purple and peach. Some, like the Lavender Lady, produce a more hollow fruit with fewer seeds while others produce a very fleshy fruit packed with seeds. Oddly enough, replanting a seed does not guarantee the same type of fruit will appear on the next generation of vine.