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Passion Flower Family

Passiflora lobata (Killip) Hutch ex J.M. MacDougal, a vine in the Passifloraceae. Note the axillary position of the tendril and the distinctive floral morphology. Un bejuco. Note el zarcillo en la axila, y la flor distintiva.

Description: A family of vines with alternate leaves (simple to palmately compound), and tendrils borne in the leaf axils. The only other group in this area with tendrils in this position is the Sapindaceae lianas (here, Paullinia and Serjania), which can usually be distinguished by their sparse white latex. Many of the Passifloraceae here have fairly delicate leaves and stems, and are commonly found in gaps or second-growth forests. The flowers of Passifloraceae are very distinctive. The name of the family comes from early Spanish missionaries who considered the flowers to contain religious imagery related to the passion of Christ (T. Webster, pers. comm.).

Economic uses: Several species of passionfruit are cultivated throughout the Neotropics, the most popular being maracuyá (Passiflora edulis) and granadilla (P. ligularis).

Descripción: Una familia de bejucos con hojas alternas (simples a palmaticompuestas), con zarcillos en las axilas de las hojas. El único grupo que también presenta zarcillos en esta posición son los bejucos en las Sapindaceas (aquí, Paullinia y Serjania), que se puede distinguir porque usualmente tienen savia blancapoco abundante. Muchas Passifloraceas de esta zona tienen los tallos y las hojas un poco delicados, y usualmente se les encuentra en claros o en bosques jóvenes. Las flores de esta familia son muy llamativas. El nombre de la familia proviene de los misioneros españoles en el nuevo mundo, que consideraban esta flor un símbolo de la pasión de Jesús Cristo (T. Webster, comm. pers.).

Usos económicos: Hay muchas especies de las Passifloraceas que se cultiva en Sur y Centroamérica, principalmente la maracuyá (Passiflora edulis) y la granadilla (P. ligularis).

Genera/species at La Selva: 1/16: Passiflora.

FIELD MARKS – Vines that bear tendrils and have nectaries on petiole. Characteristic flowers with 5 sepals, 5 petals, frilly corona, 5 stamens that change position during the course of flowering, and 3 stigma lobes.

The hummingbird-pollinated Passiflora vitifolia.
Passiflora arbelaezii displaying alternate leaves with tendrils in the leaf axils. The tendrils look like brown curling ribbon and are clearly visible on the full size image.
Passiflora vitifolia
Five stamens and three stigmas form the reproductive structures of Passiflora vitifolia.

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