Plants herbaceous or shrubby, usually climbing, with alternate lvs. and foliaceous stipules. Fls. axillary or terminal, perfect. often with a 3-leaved involucre. Sepais 4 to 5, united below into a tube, the sides and throat of which are crowned with circles of filamentous processes, which appear to be metamorphosed petals. Petals 5, arising from the throat of the calyx, outside the crown. Stamens 5, monodelphous, surrounding the stipe of the ovary. Ovary superior, on a long stipe, 1-celled; styles 3. Fruit many-seeded. (Illust in figs. 48, 148, 371, 372.)
Genera 12, species 210, chiefly natives of tropical America, but cultivated in many other countries as ornamental flowers. The fruit of the Granadilla (Passiflora multiformis) is eaten in the W. Indies, and highly valued as a dessert, but the root is poisonous.
PASSIFLO'RA, L. Passion Flower. (Lat. flos passionis; the several parts of the flower were compared to the instruments of the Saviour's passion, viz., the cross, the nails, and the crown of thorns.) Calyx colored, deeply 5-parted, the throat with a complex, filamentous crown; petals 5; sometimes 0; stamens 5, connate with the stipe of the ovary; anthers large; stigmas 3, large, clavate, capitate; fruit a pulpy berry. - Climbing herbs or shrubs. Fls. large, of a singular and wonderful structure. (Fig. 372.)
1 P. coerulea L. Shrubby; lvs. palmately and deeply 5-parted; segm. linear-oblong, entire, lateral ones often 2-lobed; pet. glandular, with a 3-bracteolate involucre near the flower; bractlets entire; fil. of the crown shorter than the cor. - Native of Brazil, where it grows to the thickness of a man's arm and to the height of 30f. Fls. large and beautiful, blue externally, white and purple within, continuing but one day. Fr. ovoid, yellow. †
2 P. incarnata L. Lvs. deeply 3-lobed, lobes oblong, acute, serrate, petioles with 2 glands near the summit; bractlets of the involucre 3, obovate-glandular; crown triple. - Va. to Fla. Sts. climbing 20 to 30f. Fls. large and showy. Petals white. Two outer rows of filaments, long, purple, with a whitish band, the inner row of short rays, flesh-colored. Berry pale yellow, of the size of an apple, eatable. May - Jl.
3 P. lutea L. Lvs. glabrous, cordate, 3-lobed, obtuse; petioles without glands,: ped. mostly in pairs; pet. narrower and much longer than the sep. - A slender climber, 5 to 10f long, in woods and thickets, Ohio and S. States. Lvs. yellowish green, nearly as broad as long. Fls. small and greenish yellow. Corona in 3 rows, the inner row a membranous disk with a fringed border. Fr. dark purple. May - Jl.