Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Passion-flower Distribution in the Sonoran Ecoregion

Source: SEINet

Passiflora (Passion flower vine) is a tropical genera of vines, which reach their northernmost distribution with P. mexicana in the Santa Teresa mountains, North of the Gila River.  They produce edible passion fruits, but the herbiage is extremely unpalatable to animals, to the point that (reportedly) starving horses will not eat P. foetidius due to the stinky sticky hairs.

I have never seen these monsoon-bloomers in the wild in Arizona, but hope springs eternal in the Sky Islands...there are three species in Arizona:  P. arizonica, P. bryonoides, and P. mexicana:

P. arizonica ca 4-5.5 cm in diameter, whitish, the corona white or purplish.

P. bryonioides ca. 2.5-4.5 cm in diameter, whitish with purplish bands on corona. 

P. mexicana ca. 2-3 cm in diameter, light green or yellowish green, the corona red or reddish purple.

There are two more species in the Sonoran Desert south of the border:

P. palmeri (no description available)

P. suberosa (no description available)

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