Regularity: Regularly occurring
Distribution: In dry or moist disturbed areas at lower elevations. Also on Culebra, Mona, Vieques, St. Croix, St. John, St. Thomas, and Tortola; common throughout the Neotropics.
Public Forests: El Yunque, Maricao, Mona, and Susúa
Solitary, axillary; white, fragrant. Flowering from November-May.
A subglobose berry; orange when ripe; seeds many, ellipsoid, deeply pitted. Fruiting February onwards.
Bracts and bracteoles deeply pinnatisect, glandular pubescent, totally cover the fruits.
Passiflora foetida L., Sp. Pl. 959. 1753.
Slightly woody vine, glandular-pubescent, attainig 5 m in length and climbs by means of axillary tendrils. Viscid glandular hairs with a strong disagreeable odor. Stems cylindrical, slightly striate, glandular-pubescent. Leaves alternate, chartaceous, usually trilobate, with the central lobe longer than the lateral ones, or less frequently simple, 5-12 × 5-10 cm, both surfaces pubescent, the lobes elliptical to ovate, with the apex acute or acuminate, the base cordiform or subcordiform, the margins crenate-serrate; petioles slender, pubescent, 2-5.5 cm long, pilose, eglandular; stipules ovate in outline, pinnatifid; tendrils pubescent, simple, 15 cm or more in length. Flowers axillary, solitary or clustered in pairs or threes, subtended by an involucre of three pinnatifid bracts, 2-3 cm long, glandular-viscid; pedicels 4-4.5 cm long, pubescent. Sepals 5, oblong, green, whitish on the inner surface, 2-2.5 cm long, mucronate at the apex; petals white, oblong, 2-2.5 cm long; corona multiseriate, the segments filiform, 15-17 mm long, the innermost series with a violet band at the base; gynophore cylindrical, green, with reddish spots, ca. 7 mm long; stamens 5; ovary ellipsoid, green, sparsely pilose, the styles pilose, the stigmas capitate. Fruit a coriaceous or papery berry, ovoid, 1.5-2.5 cm long, orange when ripe, covered by the persistent bracts. Seeds numerous, oblong, truncate at both ends, foveate, ca. 5 mm long, covered by a yellow aril.
Phenology: Flowering and fruiting throughout the year.
Status: Native, very common.
Selected Specimens Examined: Acevedo-Rdgz., P. 772; 1948; 5186; 5333; 11229; Axelrod, F. 5050; Boom, B. 8008; Britton, N.L. 2244; Goll, G.P. 393; Heller, A.A. 978; 1029; 6119; Johnston, J.R. 225; Liogier, A.H. 9805; Sargent, F.H. 193; 573; Sintenis, P. 810; Underwood, L.M. 113; 346.
Catalog Number: US 1712604
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): J. T. Howell
Year Collected: 1923
Locality: Post Office Bay, Floreana [Charles, Santa Maria], Galápagos Is., Colón, Ecuador, Archipiélago de Colón, South America
Comments: In Puerto Rico, this species occurs at medium to low elevations in more humid areas (Acevedo-Rodriguez and Woodbury 1985).
Life History and Behavior
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Leaf contains substance having possible antimicrobial activity.
Barcode data: Passiflora foetida
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Passiflora foetida
Public Records: 2
Specimens with Barcodes: 4
Species With Barcodes: 1
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: N4 - Apparently Secure
NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure
Reasons: Passiflora foetida (which is comprised of many taxonomic varieties) is native to the New World from Arizona and Texas in the U.S.A. through the tropics to the Galapagos Islands; it has become widely naturalized in the Old World tropics.
Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems
Whole plant: Fresh plant is boiled and the liquid used as a children's anthelmintic, for intestinal nematodes and flatworms. Decoction of dried plant drunk to treat colds and chest coughs. Used in the treatment of tuberculosis, worms, and for coughs and colds in NW Guyana. Leaf: Infusion for healing wounds.
Comments: Fruit edible; leaves toxic. Weedy.
Passiflora foetida (common names: wild maracuja, bush passion fruit, marya-marya, wild water lemon, stinking passionflower, love-in-a-mist or running pop) is a species of passion flower that is native to the southwestern United States (southern Texas and Arizona), Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, and much of South America. It has been introduced to tropical regions around the world, such as Southeast Asia and Hawaii. It is a creeping vine like other members of the genus, and yields an edible fruit. The specific epithet, foetida, means "stinking" in Latin and refers to the strong aroma emitted by damaged foliage.
The stems are thin and wiry, covered with minute sticky yellow hairs. Older stems become woody. The leaves are three- to five-lobed and viscid-hairy. When crushed, these leaves give off a pungent odor that some people consider unpleasant. The flowers are white to pale cream coloured, about 5–6 cm diameter. The fruit is globose, 2–3 cm diameter, yellowish-orange to red when ripe, and has numerous black seeds embedded in the pulp; the fruit are eaten and the seeds dispersed by birds
P. foetida is able to trap insects on its bracts, which exude a sticky substance that also contains digestive enzymes. This minimizes predation on young flowers and fruits. Whether or not it gains nourishment from its prey is uncertain, and it is currently considered a protocarnivorous plant.
The fruits are roughly the size of a ping pong ball, or kumquat, and contain a bluish-white pulp that is mildly sweet and delicately flavored. In the Philippines, the fruit of Passiflora foetida are known colloquially as marya-marya ('Little Mary') and santo papa (due to its resemblance to the Pope's mitre). Young leaves and plant tips are also edible. Dry leaves are used in tea in Vietnamese folk medicine to relieve sleeping problems.
Passiflora foetida contains high levels of saponins and is used as a substitute for soap in the manufacture of (soap-free) detergents.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Passiflora foetida.|
- Alegre’s exotic culinary discoveries By Aissa dela Cruz
- "Passiflora foetida L.". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2007-07-25. Retrieved 2010-01-06.
- Food Standards: Passiflora foetida
- "Passiflora foetida (vine, climber)". Global Invasive Species Database. Invasive Species Specialist Group. 2006-03-23. Retrieved 2010-01-07.
- Nellis, David W. (1997). Poisonous Plants and Animals of Florida and the Caribbean. Pineapple Press Inc. p. 224. ISBN 978-1-56164-111-6.
- Radhamani, T R; L Sudarshana; Rani Krishnan (December 1995). "Defense and carnivory: Dual role of bracts in Passiflora foetida". Journal of Biosciences 20 (5): 657–664. doi:10.1007/BF02703305.
- "Carnivorous Plants / Insectivorous Plants". Botanical Society of America. Retrieved 2010-01-07.
- Flowers of Antique, Philippines
Guyana: baby-semitoo, mis-mis,semito, simatoo, wild semitoo. Surinam: snekimarkoesa, sneki markoesa.
Names and Taxonomy
Comments: Many varieties of this species have been described, and are variously accepted (recognized) in floristic works.
To request an improvement, please leave a comment on the page. Thank you!