The purple passion flowers, scientifically known as passiflora incarnata, are very beautiful and compelling climbing plants voluble in tendrils. The purple passion flower likes deep, rich, and humus-rich soils in a sunny and warm, south-facing position. Pruning is carried out after flowering, reducing the length of the branches by half.
In cold regions, protect the twigs with several layers of winter fleece. Passiflora adorns walls, fences, porches, and trellises beautifully but also behaves very well in verandas. Virtues: In homeopathy, the aerial parts of passionflower are used in infusion against anxiety, muscle spasms, neuralgic pains, digestive, and sleep disorders.
It clings on with tendrils in the axils of its leaves. The flower is fast-growing and ideal for covering pergolas, where it blossoms generously from June to the first frosts. The flower is rustic, sweetly fragrant, and can reach up to five and 15 meters in height.
You can learn the following :
* Description * Main Features
* Care and Maintenance
* Pests and Diseases
* Medicinal Properties
The purple passion flower is also commonly known as ‘maypop. The flower is appreciated more for its medicinal virtues and its ornamental qualities. It is, however, a charming little liana that is hardy enough to be cultivated in the open in many regions that are not too cold. It is a perennial North American botanical species by its strain, with annual vegetation in cold climates.
Additionally, the lovely pale mauve flowers crowned with large mauve filaments are pleasantly fragrant. They bloom from summer to autumn. Passion flower requires a well-drained, not too dry soil to thrive, warmth in summer to flower, and not too wet soil in winter.
Also, passiflora belongs to the large family of passifloraceae. It includes 400 species and many spontaneous or horticultural hybrids. Most of them originate from the tropical areas of South America. Passiflora incarnata is a wild species originating from the southeast of the United States and Mexico.
This voluble plant clings with the support of tendrils, reaching a height of three or four m in one season. It is characterized by its herbaceous stems, almost entirely hairless, which disappear as soon as the first frosts occur. They are covered with hairless leaves, eight-12 cm long by seven-11 cm wide, cut into three thick, elliptical, lanceolate lobes with a toothed margin, shiny dark green on top, paler underneath, strictly deciduous when it freezes.
The flowering period lasts from summer to autumn, sometimes until December in favorable climates. It is made up of flowers measuring five to nine cm in diameter. The flowers, agreeably perfumed, are formed of pale mauve tepals. The filaments of the crown, nicely frizzy, are of a slightly brighter mauve, striped with white and blue-violet near the heart.
The heart of the flower is occupied by five stamens with orange anthers and a three white style, united at the base.
The purple passion flower is a plant of sunshine and warmth, which must be planted away from cold and drying winds. Plant it in ordinary, deep, well-worked, and well-drained soil, rather fresh in summer, not too wet in winter. Rustic up to -12 degrees by its stump, you can plant it in the open ground and all along the Atlantic coast. Inland, it is necessary to place it in a protected situation, with a proper winter mulching.
Also, pruning before wintering is recommended to keep a reasonable size. Do not hesitate to fold down the main branches to facilitate growth. In early spring, remove dead branches near the stump. Beware of scale insects and whiteflies, but also of the virus, the cucumber mosaic. Treat as a preventive measure.
Fruits can only form on the plant if another passionflower is present, by cross-pollination. They are eaten while still green or barely yellow-tinged.
Care and Maintenance
The purple passion flower is not very demanding. It requires very little care. As it grows, guide this liana on its support to prevent it from looking too disheveled.
Remove the wilted flowers as you go along (but not all of them, if you want fruit). In the case of drought, if it is well-planted, the growth can slow down. Therefore, do not to water it, unless you want it to colonize the place where you planted it.
Passionflower is not a very «greedy» plant. However, a supply of organic fertilizer or ripe compost in the fall can make your passion flower even more robust and abundant.
In preparation for the winter, to protect the foot from the cold, cover it with a layer of mulch 10 to 15 cm thick.
Pests and Diseases
Passionflower has no diseases, but it is sensitive to a few parasites. It can suffer from whitefly attacks in greenhouses or verandas. Treat with black soap.
Beware also of scale insects! Passionflower is susceptible to both mealybugs and shield scale insects. To remove them, you can use a mixture of water, black soap, methylated spirits, and vegetable oil.
However, if there are only a few mealybugs, a simple cloth soaked in soapy water may suffice. The purple passion flower can also be affected by red spiders, small mites that consume the sap, and cause small yellow dots to appear on the leaves. As they like dry atmospheres, all you have to do is spray water on the foliage.
Beware of gastropods at the start of vegetation: spread sawdust after each rainfall or use a biological product that is harmless to slugs and snails.
The purple passion flower is a medicinal plant used in phytotherapy. It has sedative and calming properties that help to fight against sleep disorders and anxiety. Passion flower reduces anxiety, calms the worried, and overworked. A reactive nervous breakdown never follows the sleep, and using it does not lead to addiction.
The stem and roots contain flavonoids, plant pigments, and natural antioxidants that prevent the risk of cancer ( phenolic acids, phytosterols, and coumarins). Also, the purple passion flower is used as a remedy to treat the broad spectrum of psychosomatic complaints, especially cardiac palpitations, extrasystoles. It helps to fight against digestive hypertension due to stress, spasms, functional, and muscular disorders such as contractures.
The purple passion flower is used in phytotherapy to treat sleep disorders. It is a botanical species with annual vegetation of three-four m in cold climate, surprisingly hardy, able to withstand frosts of -10/-12°C. Its pale mauve flowers of five to nine cm, crowned with large mauve filaments, very odorous, bloom from July to December, followed by edible and tasty green fruits. This passion flower is self-sterile, two separate individuals are necessary to obtain fruits. Cultivate this passion flower in pots in cold regions or the open ground in milder climates.