Passion flowers are vigorous vines, native to the Americas, which give your garden a tropical look. Passion vine flowers are vividly colorful and the vines of some varieties produce passion fruit. Different types of passion flower vines are available in commerce, some hardier than the native varieties. For more information about passion flower varieties, read on.
Passion Flower Types
The genus Passiflora has some 400 species, most native to tropical and subtropical regions in the Americas. They are shallow rooted and grow as understory plants in rain forests. The unusual flowers are the stand-out features and many different types of passion flower vines are grown only for their flowers.
Of all the species of Passiflora, only one, Passiflora edulis Sims, has the exclusive designation of passionfruit, without qualification. You’ll find two forms of passion vine flowers within this species, the standard purple and the yellow. The yellow type is botanically called Passiflora edulis f. flavicarpa Deg.
Both passion flower varieties in Passiflora edulis grow small, oval fruits. The edible portion consists of small black seeds, each covered with a juicy, fragrant orange pulp.
Another very common type of passion flower vine in the United States is the one native to Texas, Passiflora incarnata. Texas gardeners call this type “May-pop” because the fruits pop loudly when you step on them. This is one of the more hardy passion flower types available in commerce. It grows easily from seed.
If fragrance is your primary concern as you are selecting among the different types of passion flower vines, consider Passiflora alatocaerulea. The plant is a hybrid and is very widely available. It is grown commercially and the 4-inch flowers are used to manufacture perfume. This vine may require frost protection in winter.
Another of the hardy passion flower types, Passiflora vitifolia offers brilliant scarlet flowers with yellow filaments and edible fruit. This variety is hardy to 28° Fahrenheit (-2 C.).
Gardeners each have their own favorite among the different types of passion flower vines. Some of these standouts include:
- Blue passionflower (Passiflora caerulea), with 3-inch blue and white blossoms on a fast growing vine. It climbs to 30 feet in mild climates like USDA plant hardiness zones 7 through 10.
- “Blue Bouquet” passionflower (Passiflora ‘Blue Bouquet’) for solid blue flowers in zones 9 through 10.
- ‘Elizabeth’ passionflower (Passiflora ‘Elizabeth’) produces 5-inch lavender flowers.
- ‘White Wedding’ (Passiflora ‘White Wedding’) offers large, pure white blossoms.