Scientific Name: Passiflora mexicana
Common Names: Mexican Passionflower, Mexican Passion Flower
Growth Habit: Vine, Herb/Forb
Arizona Native Status: Native
Habitat: Desert, Upland, Riparian. This passion vine typically grows under trees in riparian areas and mesquite bosques.
Flower Color: Green with light red fading to violet-purple filaments
Flowering Season: Summer, Fall (early). This plant blooms from late July through September. Early September is the peak bloom period.
Height: Climbing to 25 feet (7.6 m) tall
Description: The strange looking flowers are green and have a yellow central ring, 5 large, green, oblong sepals, and rings of fleshy, linear filaments that open pale red, but fade to violet as they age. The flowers are followed by rounded, green fruit. The leaves are large, green, and bilobed. The stems are slender, green, hairless, and climbing with coiled, telephone cord-like tendrils.
Even when not in bloom, this plant's bilobed leaves distinguish it from all other Passiflora species found here.
Butterfly Plant – Mexican Passionflower is a food plant for Gulf Fritillary (Agraulis vanillae) butterfly caterpillars. Plants with partly eaten leaves most likely have these orange and black caterpillars on them.
Foul-smelling – The flowers reek of mothballs and can be smelled from a fair distance away if the air is still and humid. Since the vines are often partially hidden in other foliage, the best way to locate blooming Mexican Passionflowers is by their distinctive mothball chemical smell.
Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Family: Passifloraceae – Passion-flower family
Genus: Passiflora L. – passionflower
Species: Passiflora mexicana Juss. – Mexican passionflower
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