Passiflora edulis is among the most popular species in its genus because it’s one of the easiest passifloras to grow and its delicious fruit is cultivated commercially in South America. Like all passifloras, passiflora edulis flowers are absolute works of art. Having white centers and purple petals, edulis flowers measure roughly four inches, are fragrant and will likely attract hummingbirds and butterflies to your garden. The fruits are brown to purple and are not only delicious but contain enzymes that act as digestive stimulants. Native from Brazil through Argentina, this tropical/subtropical vine is hardy to about 35 degrees Fahrenheit, although there have been reports of vines grown in Florida that survived freezing temperatures. To increase their hardiness, these vines are frequently grafted onto hardier species such as caerulea and incarnata. Edulis is ideal for decorating structure such as fences, lattice, trellis and mailboxes and will thrive in almost any soil as long as it is well-draining and not too acidic. It has been reported to work well in hanging containers. The air-dried leaves are said to contain passiflorine, which is a mild sedative/tranquilizer found in several passiflora species, especially incarnata. This species reportedly contains small amounts of at least one MAOI and should not be consumed along with certain foods or drugs.
Growing Information: Passiflora seeds are known for long and stubborn germination. Seeds may be cold stratified for four weeks in the fridge prior to planting if desired. Natural cold stratification can be provided by sowing seeds outdoors in the fall. Other growers will prepare the seed by soaking it in water or juice for 24 hours prior to planting. The acids in the juice are meant to help break down the seed coat. Vinegar has also been used for this purpose. Sanding the seed coat a bit may also help achieve a similar result. Plant the seeds about 1/2? deep in a lightly moist, well-draining medium. Sowing in a moist paper towel that is placed in a zipper baggie has proven successful. Keep in bright light at a temperature of about 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit using bottom heat if possible. Germination can take several weeks to several months. Be sure to not to overwater.
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