Passiflora Passion flower | Identification ID
Q Can you ID my Passion flower/Passiflora/Passionflower for me?
A There are about 600 Passiflora species and over 700 named hybrids. I am happy to help but better still is to join the Passiflora Facebook Group with over 6.4k members, including many of the worlds top breeders, growers, and taxonomists.
So which plant have I got? The most frequent answers include:-
Passiflora alata, Passiflora x decaisneana, Passiflora phoenicia, Passiflora quadrangularis ID comparison These are all square stemmed Passiflora with red flowers and can be hard to distinguish. This key will help.
Passiflora ‘Amethyst’ Often known incorrectly as P. ‘Lavender Lady’. A more recent version of this cross, Passiflora ‘Beervelde’ by Cor Laurens has longer corona filaments than the original.
Passiflora caerulea The Common Passion Flower, pictured above.
Passiflora ‘Constance Eliott‘ The Common Passion Flower (white flowered version)
Passiflora edulis The most widely grown edible Passion fruit. Also covers ID difficulties re differentiating the many selections of P. edulis.
Passiflora ‘Snow Queen’ One of my Riverside® Passiflora hybrids, sometimes confused with P. ‘Constance Eliott above, it is hardier, a purer white and has bigger flowers.
Passiflora x violacea A group of very similar crosses go under this name.
Q It’s not one of the above so how can I identify it?
A There are about 600 known species and over 700 named hybrids. Accordingly ID from leaf shape alone is rarely reliable. So be patient if possible and wait until your plant flowers before asking the Passiflora Facebook Group for ID. Then at minimum send a picture or link showing the whole leaf and its petiole & the flower. The petiole is the bit of stem that connects the leaf to the plant. The petiole glands are little bumps/stalks, as shown above, that secrete nectar. They are very useful to help ID. See Passiflora ‘Amethyst’ for an example of a good range of pictures.
Taxonomist Dr. Peter Møller Jørgensen comments,
”One of the reason botanist want specimens is so that we can see all characters and not just what the photographer decided to show. A friend of mine said that the back side of the flower has in general many more characters than the front, but nobody photographs it… Think about it, take many photographs from several angles, and we will have a much easier job of identifying the plants. That is if you do not want to send us a specimen…”
Q Can you ID this seed for me?
A As there are well over a thousand hybrids and species best advice, although many seed are distinctive is to germinate it.
Q I am not sure if my plant is labelled correctly?
A Passiflora often have incorrect identification even by reputable nurseries & websites. Even experts sometimes struggle with rare or very similar species. Plants and especially seed from eBay can also throw up a few surprises! Never buy hybrid seed from whatever source, it may be from the hybrid as described but will probably not come up the same as it and is likely to be inferior. Hybrids should always be bought as plants which are grown from cuttings from the original plant.