Passiflora aurantia (PASSIFLORACEAE) Native Passionfruit

Plants to Plant

Passiflora aurantia is a species of native passionfruit. It is a host plant for larvae of the glasswing butterfly. The name refers to the flower parts symbolically representing Christ’s passion and aurantia meaning orange coloured, referring to the flower. Passiflora is a well known genus because of the commercial passionfruit P.edulusPassiflora aurantia is a tendril climber – it develops filament-like structures from its stems which attach themselves to branches of other plants, thus providing support. Leaves are entire or tri-lobed leaves, dark green in colour and up to 70 mm long. Red or salmon-coloured flowers are seen mainly in winter and spring but some flowers may also occur at other times of the year. Green fruits about 50 mm in diameter containing greyish pulp and numerous black seeds. The pulp is reported to be edible but apparently not especially palatable. Propagate from seed which does not require any special pre-treatment.

Photo: John Ocampo