Some Botany Photo of the Day news before today’s entry: thanks to the generous (some very generous) donations of BPotD readers, I’ve been able to hire a student to help with BPotD from now through April. I’ll introduce her when she writes her first entries for BPotD the week after next, but I wanted to post an update for those of you who donated. For those of you who wish to donate, there is a button at the top right of every page that allows you to directly support UBC Botanical Garden’s online education initiatives. A small bit (a couple hundred dollars) is still needed to finish supporting this position. After that, the next round of donations will support a BPotD student position for next summer. Each dollar given is roughly subsidized the same amount by the university, so a donation of $10 translates to $20 available to hire a student. Thank you again!
The fourth entry in the tropical plant diversity series has photographs courtesy of mdv_graupe@Flickr (aka Michael Graupe) of California, USA (original image 1 | original image 2 | Botany Photo of the Day Flickr Pool). Thank you, Michael!
According to USDA GRIN database, this species is native to Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Chile. However, other references suggest it is perhaps only native to Bolivia, and has since been cultivated elsewhere in South America for its edible fruit (not quite ripe in that photo). Known in Spanish as purotacso, tacso or tintin (and to some indigenous peoples as jampaijhuay, the fruits are sometimes exported to Europe, where they are sold as cholupa or gulupa. Ulmer and MacDouglas, authors of Passiflora: Passionflowers of the World, describe the edible grayish-white pulp of the fruit as being “sweetish to flavorless to slightly sour” and point out that it can be freshly eaten or used in desserts or drinks.
Simply parsed, the epithet pinnatistipula refers to the pinnate (or feather-like) stipules. Michael provides an excellent photoillustration of these in the second photograph (stipules are composed of leaf tissue, link contains info on form and function).
Several previous Botany Photo of the Day entries can be read for additional details about the genus, including Passiflora ‘Coral Sea’ (you can use the search bar on the right-hand side of the page and find additional entries).