Passion vine seeds

turbo_tpl(z7a Richland WA)December 25, 2005

Howdy, all. I'm more of a tree nut, but recently found some seed pods to what I am relatively sure is a passion vine (shrived egg like things). After reading up on the maypop, I'm quite interested in planting some vines around my six acres (in south-central VA, which I'm rehabbing for wildlife habitat), particularly for the interesting vine and to provide food plants for the Gulf Fritillary butterfly. I do have some questions for you Passiflora experts out there:

  • How do I determine whether or not this is the native passion vine, and not an invasive exotic species? I really have a problem with exotic invasives being released into the wild

  • Do passion vines require "two to tango", or do they self-fertilize? There is only one vine here that I can see, and am not familiar with how and how good they are at fertilization. Can I do the "sink test" on the seeds to check for viability?

  • How invasive are these vines? If a native species, it doesn't bother me too much, but I'd like to know so I can plant it in a somewhat more remote location.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

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Judithw(z7TN)

In your location, there are three passiflora species that are hardy---incarnata, caerulea, and lutea. I've never seen lutea, but have the idea in my head that their fruit is very small. If the shriveled pods are about the size of an egg, it's most like incarnata.

Incarnata requires a cold period to germinate, so you need to either sow them outdoors now, ot sow them in trays and pop them into the fridge for a couple of months. Incarnata self-sows pretty readily around here, but it's lovely enough that I don't mind. I DO dig several plants out of my beds every spring and pass them along to others.

I don't know if incarnata is self-fertile, but I suspect it is. Nor can I advise you re a 'sink test'---my best advice is to plant them outside and just see what happens come spring.

Oh, and re the 'invasive exotic species' question---most passiflora species are frost-tender and can't survive Zone 7 winters.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2005 at 8:45PM
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chills71(Zone 6b Mi)

I think what Judith meant is that most exotic passion flowers are frost tender. Incarnata and lutea are both natives to the US (I don't know about Caerulea).

As far as I know there is no easy test to check if seed is viable, other than just planting.
~Chills

    Bookmark   December 30, 2005 at 10:32AM
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