Again, Taisha is the author of today’s entry:
Today’s photo of Passiflora vitifolia was taken by frequent BPotD contributor 3Point141@Flickr on October 7, 2005. I could no longer resist the passionflower photographs on the Botany Photo of the Day Flickr Pool, and selected this vivid image for today’s entry. The unique floral morphology (image via Cronodon) of Passiflora is something I find most intriguing. Thank you 3Point141 for today’s picture!
Passiflora vitifolia, or the perfumed passionflower, is one of about 500 species within the genus. This perennial vine is native to rainforests of Central and South America, but it is also cultivated as an ornamental in other subtropical and tropical regions of the world.
The perfumed passionflower has a woody trunk that bears numerous branches and stems with coiling tendrils. Upon the vegetative branches are alternate, fuzzy, three-lobed leaves. Each leaf has two nectaries at the base of its petiole. The showy flowers are produced on reproductive branches that grow close to the ground. Flowers are borne in leaf axils. They have 10 red sepals, two rings of coronal filaments (red inner and white outer), and 5 yellow stamens surrounding the gynoecium. The flowers of this species are self-incompatible; pollination is primarily by hummingbirds (for some details on pollination biology (though mostly about a different species), see: Holland JB and Lanza J. 2008. Geographic variation in the pollination biology of Passiflora lutea (Passifloraceae). Journal of Arkansas Academy of Science. 62: 32-36.). The fruit of this flower has a green leathery pericarp with white spots. It holds seeds encased in sweet and juicy arils.