Passiflora manicata

Loja Ecuador 1807
Min 0°C 32°F

Passiflora manicata. Many thanks to Anne Norman & her husband for their kindness in supplying these images of P. manicata growing in the wild in Ecuador. CIAT suggest that P. manicata fruit may be hallucinogenic and it is known in Ecuador as ‘diablito’ because of its hallucinogenic properties. Other sources suggest that the fruit is edible, and I suspect it is eating unripe fruit (dangerous with any Passiflora) that is the problem. The fruit, as pictured in the gallery above, from Paulo Mendonça in Madiera, are 2 inches long and an inch and quarter wide. Quite a sharp aromatic smell when opened, the grey pulp is reminiscent of P. ligularis fruit. Bearing in mind its reputation (and i do not recommend this) I tasted cautiously, a citrus like taste, quite pleasant, certainly edible, with a slightly unpleasant aftertaste. 

Anne Norman comments:-

‘The plant was found in Ecuador on the day we travelled on the Devils Nose Railway – it derailed so many times that we got off at Alausi and travelled through the mountains by bus – this was upset by a tyre puncture on a remote roadway about an hour outside of Alausi.’

I think that we can often be surprised by the mismatch between the conditions we think particular Passiflora grow in and what they actually grow in. In this case P. manicata is growing in a very exposed location at about 10 000 feet.

Dr. Peter Møller Jørgensen comments:-

P. manicata grows typically in the interandean dry valleys, these areas have almost all been completely converted to agriculture but it does well in hedges and roadsides”

Some records suggest that P. manicata could cope with  -4°C 40°F or lower, but the clone above that I grew from seed died at 0°C 32°F.