Passiflora aurantia Passifloraceae

Native Passionfruit

Passiflora aurantia

Form and Size: A small to medium vine with thin stems

Distribution: From Cooktown, Qld to north-eastern NSW; in rainforests and vine thickets

Leaves:  3-lobed or occasionally entire, dark green, 3 prominent veins, to 10cm x 6cm

Flowers: Whitish, changing to bright pink and red, held upright, to 6cm diameter; borne singly in the axils

Flowering Period: May to July and sporadic

Fruit: Green, egg-shaped, 2-5cm long; numerous black seeds in greyish pulp

Cultivation/Notes:  Propagate from seed or cuttings
A fast growing vine which is easily manageable and ideal for screening or trellises
The fruit are not edible
Well drained soil and full sun are desirable
It is a food plant for Glasswing and Cruiser butterflies

The association with the word ‘Passion’ was given by Catholic missionaries in South America
The corona threads (radial filaments) of the passion flower were seen as a symbol of the crown of thorns, the five stamens for wounds, (four by the nails and one by the lance)
The five petals and five sepals as the ten apostles (excluding Judas and Peter) and the three stigmas for the nails on the cross
The pointed tips of the leaves were taken to represent the Holy Lance
The tendrils represent the whips used in the flagellation of Christ
The chalice-shaped ovary with its receptacle represents a hammer or the Holy Grail
The blue and white colours of many species’ flowers represent Heaven and Purity