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Passiflora umbilicata

Passiflora umbilicata

Today's entry was written by Claire:

Submitted via the UBC Botanical Garden's Botany Photo of the Day Submissions Forum, Basorrie of North Carolinia, USA took this photograph of Passiflora umbilicata, a passionflower, at 3000m (9,800ft) in the Bolivian Andes above Cochabamba. Thank you Basorrie!

Passiflora umbilicata is indeed restricted to a high altitude range among the Andes of Bolivia and Argentina. It is a fast-growing, evergreen vine that produces beautiful complex-appearing flowers, a trait common to its genus of 500+ species. Passiflora contains a variety of flower morphologies, though the majority seem to follow the formula of three carpels, five stamens, five petals, and five sepals. In many species, the petals have become wiry and brightly colored, while the sepals look like what we normally think of as petals. As in this photo of Passiflora umbilicata, many species have a set of coloured bracts at the base of the flower. Passiflora umbilicata is pollinated by the genus' most common pollinator, bees. Other species are pollinated by larger insects such as butterflies and moths, or even bats and hummingbirds.

The fruit of Passiflora umbilicata is edible, much like the commercial passionfruit--Passiflora edulis. Not all species' fruits are edible, however, and many can be toxic, possessing cyanide-containing compounds. For these species, this could be a potential defense mechanism against being eaten before the fruit is ripe.

For a wide selection of photographs illustrating the traits of Passiflora, I highly recommend "Ian's Passiflora Website" courtesy of Ian Webb and his astounding Passiflora collection.

6 Comments

Esta planta es un bello ejemplo de la flora alto-andina, que debemos estudiar y proteger para la perpetuidad.

Ok,now I wonder which ones are edible and which ones are not. The maypop passionflower is pretty much a weed here in my Missouri garden. And of course I had to try it, but as I am still alive I guess it meant that that one is not poisonous?

Talk about a bloomin' beaut! Wow, which brings to wonder, are there any passion flowers, other than the standard Maypop, that thrive in a zone 8 (Seattle)?

Thanks for Passiflora picture. This genius is very important for butterflies. Those whose caterpillars are able to eat this plant, store the chemicals in their endo-skeleton. They become distasteful perhaps even poisinous to birds who try to eat them. Hence they are protected. In USA an important example is the Gulf Fritillary a bright orange butterflies that floats serenely without fear.Tropics have both Passiflora eaters and their mimics. Woodnymph


....Wow..everything spring...beautiful..!

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