Blue passion flower

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Blue passion flower
Blue passion flower (Passiflora caerulea)

Blue passion flower ( Passiflora caerulea )

Eurosiden I
Order : Malpighiales (Malpighiales)
Family : Passion flower family (Passifloraceae)
Tribe : Passifloreae
Genre : Passion flowers ( Passiflora )
Type : Blue passion flower
Scientific name
Passiflora caerulea

The blue passion flower ( Passiflora caerulea ) is a species of plant from the species-rich genus of passion flowers ( Passiflora ) in the passion flower family (Passifloraceae). The homeland is northern Argentina and southern Brazil . The blue passion flower can be used as a houseplant .


Vegetative characteristics

The blue passion flower is a climbing, perennial, herbaceous plant . The stem is usually pencil-shaped to slightly angular and always hairless. The alternate leaves arranged on the stem are divided into a petiole and a leaf blade. The 2 to 3 cm long petioles usually have two to four, rarely up to six, small glands; they are extra-floral nectaries that secrete easily recognizable drops of nectar. The herbaceous, smooth leaf blade has a heart-shaped base and usually has five (three to nine) lobes. The leaf lobes are ovate-elongated and have entire margins, the middle lobes always being slightly longer than the lateral ones. The kidney-shaped stipules are about 1.2 cm tall and have a wavy edge.

Generative characteristics

The inflorescence is a reduced cyme , the central flower is not formed, a side branch is transformed into a tendril and the flower is opposite the tendril. The broad, egg-shaped bracts are 2 to 3 cm in size and have entire margins. The flower stalk is 3 to 4 cm long.


The fragrant, hermaphrodite, radial symmetry , five-fold flowers have a diameter of 6 to 10 cm. The five free sepals are light green on the outside and white on the inside and 3 to 4.5 cm long with a 2 to 3 mm long tip. The five free petals are white to light green and 2.5 to 4 cm long. Further inwards follows the so-called halo, these are thread-like, intensely colored staminodes arranged in three to four circles . The staminodes of the outer two circles are 0.6 to 1.5 cm long, dark purple at the base, white in the middle and light blue at the top. The inner one or two circles of staminodes are 1 to 2 mm long, light green at the base and white at the top. The operculum is also thread-like with dark purple lobes. There is a wreath-shaped nectarium . The disc is 1 to 2 mm high. Five fertile stamens and the gynoeceum are combined into a column, the so-called androgynophore ; it is 8 to 10 mm high and extends far beyond the sterile flower parts. There are five fertile stamens . The free stamens are flat and about 1 cm long. The elongated anthers are about 1.3 cm long. The three carpels grown together, standing on the fertile stamens ovary is spherical oval to. The three free styles are purple, 6 to 8 mm long and end in kidney-shaped scars. The flower is interpreted in Christian terms as follows: the five stamens as the “wounds of Christ”, the three scars as the nails of the crucifixion and the halo as the “crown of thorns”, this is how the genus was named passion flowers. The flowering time of natural forms usually extends from May to July and the varieties have different flowering times.

Opened fruit with seeds

The outwardly green fruit changes to orange-yellow in the course of ripening, is egg-shaped and about 6 cm in size. A three-part cage in the fruit contains about 160 seeds in red, edible berries , about 5-6 mm in size.


The species name Passiflora caerulea was first published in 1753 by Carl von Linné in Species Plantarum , 2, pp. 959-960. Synonyms for Passiflora caerulea L. are: Granadilla caerulea (L.) Medik., Passiflora caerulea Lour., Passiflora caerulea var. Angustifolia G. Don, Passiflora caerulea var. Glauca Mast., Passiflora caerulea var. Imbricata Mast., Passiflora caerulea var . regnellii mast., Passiflora loureiroi G.Don, Passiflora selloi Dehnh. The Guarani, the indigenous people of the region of South America in which the flower grows, gave it the name "mburucuya". For this reason there is a movement to use this original name more and more again.


The ripe fruits are eaten raw or a fruit juice is made from them. Unripe fruits can only be eaten after they have been cooked. The pulpus tastes sour.


The white flowering and more fragrant variety 'Constance Elliott'

Gardeners have already selected many clones of the blue passion flower ( Passiflora caerulea ), some examples are 'Constance Eliott' (the white flowers have a stronger smell than other varieties), 'Chinensis', 'Gala', 'Wild Brazil', 'Spyder' , 'Majorca' and 'Pierre Pomie'.

Passiflora caerulea is relatively easy to care for and thrives both as an indoor plant and in the greenhouse or outdoors. Young plants are frost-resistant down to −15 ° C, older specimens even down to lower temperatures, so P. caerulea can also be planted outdoors in Central Europe. In the greenhouse or on the windowsill, it develops into an impressive plant in the light-rich months.

Hibernation as a houseplant is more problematic (in the open air, above-ground parts die off and sprout again in spring). As a sun plant, Passiflora caerulea needs a lot of light even in winter. As a climbing plant, Passiflora caerulea needs climbing aids. The form of the shoots rolled on a wire ring, available in most stores, is less cheap and soon becomes too small for the new shoots. It is better to have large, upright constructions.


Passiflora caerulea :


  • Yinzheng Wang, Shawn E. Krosnick & Peter Møller Jørgensen: Passiflora in the Flora of China , Volume 13, p. 146: Passiflora caerulea - online .

Web links

Commons : Blue Passion Flower ( Passiflora caerulea )  - Album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Passiflora caerulea at Plants For A Future .
  2. Passiflora caerula at