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Passiflora 'Blue Horizon'
Passiflora 'Blue Horizon'

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Passiflora

Passion Flower
Passifloraceae
Evergreen, Vines

All but one of the passion vines listed are South American natives. All climb by tendrils 20 to 30 ft. Foliage is typically rich green. Plants bloom during warm weather. Flower parts can be seen to symbolize elements of the passion of Christ, hence plant’s common name: the crown represents a halo or crown of thorns; the five stamens, the five wounds; the ten petal-like segments, the ten faithful apostles.

Many species produce edible fruit as a bonus. Train passion vines on trellises or walls for their vigor and bright, showy flowers; or use as a soil-holding bank cover. Vigorous, likely to overgrow and tangle; require rigorous thinning and untangling. Winter and early spring are best times for major pruning, but you can thin excess new growth at any time in the growing season. Tolerate many soil types.

These vines are the favorite food of caterpillars of the gulf fritillary butterfly.

Passiflora caerulea
Passiflora caerulea

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Passiflora caerulea

This vine climbs 20 to 30 ft.. Its five-lobed leaves are smaller than the 3-in. leaves of Passiflora x belotii; faintly fragrant flowers in greenish white with white-and-purple crown are also smaller. Egg-shaped, yellow to orange, 2 1/2-in. fruit isn’t very tasty. Dies to the ground in colder part of range. Can be invasive. Has naturalized in Hawaii.

Passiflora x belotii

Hybrid between P. caerulea and P. alata. Among the best-known, most widely planted passion vines, and probably least subject to damage from caterpillars. Three-lobed leaves are 3 in. long; fragrant, 4-in. flowers are white shaded pink and lavender, with deep blue or purple crown. Forms no fruit. In colder areas, give it a warm place out of wind, such as against a wall or beneath an overhang; mulch roots in winter. Dies to ground in colder part of range.

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