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The Passionate Passion Flower

from: Lawn and Garden Magic

Passion Flower mostly consists of vines and shrubs and are a genus of about 500 species of flora belonging to the Passifloraceae family. Some are herbaceous, but these rarely thrive. Passion Flower bears the Passion Fruit called “maracuya” in Spanish. They're native to the tropical islands in America, and are commercially cultivated in the Caribbean, Brazil, Florida and Hawaii.

Passion Flowers have quite a unique structure that needs a huge bee to be pollinated effectively. In some areas, wooden beams are placed nearby in order to entice more insects to nest. It's also interesting to note that its shape and size will vary even if they're from the same specie. Some Passion Flowers can be fertilized by hummingbirds and wasps, and there others that do it by themselves without any need to be dependent from others.

Passion Flowers are used by the larva of the moth as food as well as butterflies such as Heliconiinae and Cibyra Serta. In fact, it's not surprising a lot of butterflies get stuck in the plant because it's covered by hairs that also emanate a sticky fluid.

Passion Flowers are found in most areas of the globe except Europe and Antartica, with nine of the breeds present in the United States, in Ohio down the northern coast going west to Texas then to Florida Keys in the south. As mentioned, these flowers are very widespread in South America since they survive best in weather with an equal distribution of rain and sunshine. Passion Flowers also thrives in China as well as in Southern Asia where it has about 17 breeds.

In the Pacific, mainly in New Zealand, there's only one of the monotypic specie. In Africa, it's abundant, although more primitive to Adenia. There are purple and yellow flowers which grow widely in areas with mild climates.

During the Victorian age, Passion Flowers were so popular a lot of hybrids were created utilizing P. Caerulea and P. Alata. Many are being cultivated beyond their natural range because of their charm. Maypop with the scientific name Passiflora Incarnata, is common in southern parts of the United States. Its produce can be eaten though it's quite seedy.

The Curuba with scientific name Passiflora Tarminiana, is an invasive weed that's scattered by feral pigs that swallows them. It actually grows so huge it stands tall in an endemic vegetation, especially on the sides of the road.

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