Passion flower: A Bit of Botany
a little botanical information about passion flower

Passiflora incarnata, a member of the Passifloraceae family, is a fast growing perennial vine with climbing or trailing stems.

The stems can be smooth or pubescent; they are long and trailing, possessing many tendrils. Leaves are alternate and palmately 3-lobed and occasionally 5-lobed, measuring 6–15 centimeters (2.4–5.9 in). They have two characteristic glands at the base of the blade on the petiole.

Flowers have five bluish-white petals. They exhibit a white and purple corona, a structure of fine appendages between the petals and stamens. The large flower is typically arranged in a ring above the petals and sepals. They are pollinated by insects such as bumblebees and carpenter bees, and are self-sterile. The flower normally blooms in July.

The fleshy fruit of the Passiflora incarnata—also referred to as a "maypop"—is an oval yellowish berry about the size of a hen egg. The fruit is green at first, but then becomes orange as it matures.

common names & nomenclature
Passion flowers are so named from the resemblance of the finely-cut corona in the centre of the blossoms to the Crown of Thorns and of the other parts of the flower to the instruments of the Passion of Jesus in Christian theology.

Also known as:
Maypop, maypops, purple passionflower, true passionflower, wild apricot, wild passion vine, passion vine, granadilla, maracoc, espina de Cristo, clock flower, clock plant

Passion Flower, the passive and peaceful tropical climbing vine
Passion flower: Where in the World
habitat and range for passion flower

Passion flower is a vine native to Asia, New Zealand, Australia and tropical regions of the United States.

Passion flower: Cultivation & Harvesting
considerations for growing and harvesting passion flower

Passion flower occurs in thickets, disturbed areas, near riverbanks, and near tall pastures, roadsides, and railroads. It thrives in areas with lots of available sunlight.

Prefers a well-drained sandy slightly acid soil.

Pre-soak the seed for 12 hours in warm water and then sow late winter or early spring in a warm greenhouse. If sown in January and grown on fast it can flower and fruit in its first year. The seed germinates in 1 - 12 months at 20°c. Transplant seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. It you are intending to grow the plants outdoors, it is probably best to keep them in the greenhouse for their first winter and plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Mulch the roots well in late autumn to protect them from the cold.

The plant is harvested after some of the berries have matured and the aerial parts are dried for later use.

Store dried passion flower in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

Passion flower: The Rest of the Story
passion flower history, folklore, literature & more

passion flower—bringer of peace
Many people in today’s busy world find themselves feeling the pains of stress. If it’s not your hectic job, it’s your busy family, financial pressure, or constant distractions that take up your time. It can be difficult to function when you’re completely stressed.

And many people suffer as a result of that stress. From nervous stomachs to sleepless nights, stress takes its toll. And if you’re like many people, you don’t want to turn to the options of Western medicine.

Today more people are on antidepressants and sleeping pills than ever before. But you don’t have to turn to these sometimes-dangerous methods for improving your mood and helping you to relax. In fact, nature has just the solution from the problems you have.

Passion flower is one of the best herbal remedies you can use to help get you through stressful times filled with anxiety. For many years passion flower was used by Native Americans to treat external problems such as wounds and injuries. It was also used to treat ear infections. But its most common and successful use was that a drink to soothe the nerves.

It was used to treat all kinds of problems such as hysteria, spasms, anxiety, fatigue, and even hyperactivity in children. And as time marched forward, passion flower was even use in sleep aids that were manufactured in the early 1900s. It fell out of favor in the United States by the FDA, but in Europe it continues to be part of over the counter medicines that aid in sleep.

Modern herbalists still use passion flower to help soothe the nerves. It can be used to treat anxiety, sleeplessness, and nervous stomachs caused by stress and anxiety. Some studies have shown that passion flower will even work as well as some prescription anti anxiety medications. It may also have an application in helping people addicted to opiates, such as heroin, to fight their addiction and withdrawal symptoms.

Passion flower is an herb that is particularly powerful in these modern times when stress runs so rampant. Millions of people take sleep aids that have powerful side effects. But using passion flower can help you to get a good night’s sleep without those side effects that leave you feeling hung over and groggy.

The next time you have a hard time getting a good night’s sleep, you should try adding passion flower to your regimen. It can give you peace of mind that will allow you to get some rest. For more information on various herbs to help you sleep please read Herbs for Restorative Sleep