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Passifloraceae


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(passion flowers, grandillas)

A family of dicotyledonous (see dicotyledon) shrubs, herbs, or (mostly) climbers with tendrils which arise from the leaf axils and correspond to sterile flower stalks. They have entire or lobed leaves, with small stipules, and glandular petioles. The flowers are regular and usually bisexual. There are 5 overlapping, persistent sepals, sometimes basally fused. The 5 petals are rarely absent, and are overlapping and often basally fused. There may be a corona of petal-like or stamen-like growths inside the corolla. There are 5 or more stamens held opposite the petals, sometimes in bundles. The ovary is superior and unilocular, with many ovules. The styles are united, with 3–5 stigmas. The fruit is a berry or capsule, and is indehiscent, containing many seeds, each with a large embryo, fleshy endosperm, and surrounded by a pulpy aril. Several species are cultivated either for their showy flowers (e.g. Passiflora caerulea, which is an indoor (or delicate outdoor) climber in Britain) or for the edible fruits (e.g. P. quadrangularis, granadilla, which is cultivated in the tropics). P. edulis is the passion fruit or purple granadilla of Brazil, which is widely cultivated. There are 18 genera, with about 530 species, found in all tropical regions but especially in America and Africa.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry.


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