Thursday, 6 October 2011

Passiflora foetida

Passiflora foetida is a species of passion flower native to the tropical New World.  It is also known as wild maracuja, santa papa, marya-marya, wild water lemon, stinking passion flower, love-n-a-mist, or running pop.   

The ‘Passion’ in passion flower refers to the passion of Christ, due to its unique physical structure of its flower.
The specific epithet foetida means ‘stinking’ in Latin, refers to the strong aroma emitted by damaged leaves.

It is a creeping vine.
The stems are tiny and wiry, covered with minute sticky yellow hairs.   Older stems become woody.
The leaves are three-lobed and viscid-hairy.  When crushed, the leaves give off a pungent odor for some people considered unpleasant.  
The flowers are white, about 5-6cm diameter.
Fruit s are edible, globose, covered by hairy sepals, 2-3cm diameter, yellowish-orangey to red when ripe.
Seeds are black, covered by whitish pulp

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