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Results tagged “passifloraceae”

Jan 13, 2014: Passiflora pardifolia

Passiflora pardifolia

Taisha concludes the mimicry and deception series with this image of Passiflora pardifolia courtesy of Cody H. (aka codiferous@Flickr) who submitted it via the BPotD Flickr Pool. Thank you Cody!

Passiflora pardifolia is a Brazilian native species that exhibits a form of protective mimicry coined yellow protruding glands on their leaf surfaces to mimic an infestation of Heliconius butterfly eggs. Passiflora pardifolia is included in this small percentage. Heliconius butterflies will (preferentially?) lay their eggs on the leaves of Passiflora plants, as their larvae are among the few able to withstand the chemical defences of passionflower leaves (and so will not have to compete with other non-Heliconius insect larvae for food). However, caterpillars of Heliconius will feed on other larvae, too--including other Heliconius caterpillars. Thus, the yellow markings on the passionflower leaf surfaces are an effective mechanism for strengthened health and increased survival of Passiflora pardifolia, as Heliconius butterflies will bypass the plants with these markings so as to not expose their offspring to a potential threat. It is suggested that the egg-mimicking features have evolved recently, as they seem to arise sporadically among the different Passiflora lineages, and in too many ways to be correlated with a single botanical function (see: Gilbert, L. (1982). The coevolution of a butterfly and a vine. Scientific American. 247(2):110-121).

The markings on the leaves mentioned above were the inspiration for the epithet of this species: pardifolia is derived from the Greek παρδος or pardos, i.e., a spotted animal like a leopard or panther (see: Vanderplank, J. (2006). Passiflora pardifolia. Curtis's Botanical Magazine. 23(3): 243-247).

Botany / entomology resource: inspired by the mimicry series, BPotD reader Paulette L. sent along a news story about this recently-published study: Pollinator Deception in the Orchid Mantis, in which (from the abstract): "After more than a century of conjecture, we provide the first experimental evidence of pollinator deception in the orchid mantis and the first description of a unique predatory strategy that has not been documented in any other animal species".

Jun 26, 2013: Passiflora vitifolia

Passiflora vitifolia

Again, Taisha is the author of today's entry:

Today's photo of Passiflora vitifolia was taken by frequent BPotD contributor 3Point141@Flickr on October 7, 2005. I could no longer resist the passionflower photographs on the Botany Photo of the Day Flickr Pool, and selected this vivid image for today's entry. The unique floral morphology (image via Cronodon) of Passiflora is something I find most intriguing. Thank you 3Point141 for today's picture!

Passiflora vitifolia, or the perfumed passionflower, is one of about 500 species within the genus. This perennial vine is native to rainforests of Central and South America, but it is also cultivated as an ornamental in other subtropical and tropical regions of the world.

The perfumed passionflower has a woody trunk that bears numerous branches and stems with coiling tendrils. Upon the vegetative branches are alternate, fuzzy, three-lobed leaves. Each leaf has two nectaries at the base of its petiole. The showy flowers are produced on reproductive branches that grow close to the ground. Flowers are borne in leaf axils. They have 10 red sepals, two rings of coronal filaments (red inner and white outer), and 5 yellow stamens surrounding the gynoecium. The flowers of this species are self-incompatible; pollination is primarily by hummingbirds (for some details on pollination biology (though mostly about a different species), see: Holland JB and Lanza J. 2008. Geographic variation in the pollination biology of Passiflora lutea (Passifloraceae). Journal of Arkansas Academy of Science. 62: 32-36.). The fruit of this flower has a green leathery pericarp with white spots. It holds seeds encased in sweet and juicy arils.

Mar 16, 2011: 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.

Sep 17, 2010: Passiflora pinnatistipula

Some Botany Photo of the Day news before today's entry: thanks to the generous (some very generous) donations of BPotD readers, I've been able to hire a student to help with BPotD from now through April. I'll introduce her when she writes her first entries for BPotD the week after next, but I wanted to post an update for those of you who donated. For those of you who wish to donate, there is a button at the top right of every page that allows you to directly support UBC Botanical Garden's online education initiatives. A small bit (a couple hundred dollars) is still needed to finish supporting this position. After that, the next round of donations will support a BPotD student position for next summer. Each dollar given is roughly subsidized the same amount by the university, so a donation of $10 translates to $20 available to hire a student. Thank you again!

The fourth entry in the tropical plant diversity series has photographs courtesy of mdv_graupe@Flickr (aka Michael Graupe) of California, USA (original image 1 | original image 2 | Botany Photo of the Day Flickr Pool). Thank you, Michael!

According to USDA GRIN database, this species is native to Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Chile. However, other references suggest it is perhaps only native to Bolivia, and has since been cultivated elsewhere in South America for its edible fruit (not quite ripe in that photo). Known in Spanish as purotacso, tacso or tintin (and to some indigenous peoples as jampaijhuay, the fruits are sometimes exported to Europe, where they are sold as cholupa or gulupa. Ulmer and MacDouglas, authors of Passiflora: Passionflowers of the World, describe the edible grayish-white pulp of the fruit as being "sweetish to flavorless to slightly sour" and point out that it can be freshly eaten or used in desserts or drinks.

Simply parsed, the epithet pinnatistipula refers to the pinnate (or feather-like) stipules. Michael provides an excellent photoillustration of these in the second photograph (stipules are composed of leaf tissue, link contains info on form and function).

Several previous Botany Photo of the Day entries can be read for additional details about the genus, including Passiflora 'Coral Sea' (you can use the search bar on the right-hand side of the page and find additional entries).

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