Passiflora foetida commonly known as wild maracuja, bush passion fruit, love-in-a-mist or running pop is a species of passion flower belonging to Passifloraceae (Passion-flower family). The plant is native to 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, South Asia, and Hawaii.
The plant is a creeping vine like other members of the genus, and yields an edible fruit. It is a popular plant with many names including running pop, Stinking passionflower, fetid passionflower, scarletfruit passionflower, Galapagos passionflower, Love–in-the-mist, Scarletfruit passionflower, Fetid passionflower, red-fruit passionflower, running-pop, wild water-lemon, Love-in-a-mist passionflower, Mossy passionflower and many more.
The name of the genus is the combination of the Latin terms “passio, -onis” which means passion and “flos, -oris” which means flower with reference to the structure of the flower where the first Spanish missionaries did see the instruments of the Passion of Christ. The specific epithet, foetida, means “stinking” in Latin and refers to the strong aroma emitted by damaged foliage. Passiflora 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 proto-carnivorous plant.
Bush Passion Fruit is an ill-scented, branched, climbing herbaceous annual or perennial plant that grows about 1.5 to 6 m tall. The plant is found growing in seashores, river banks, bush land, highway borders, wastelands, disturbed areas, along roadsides, in coastal thickets, patches of forest, cane fields, crops, plantations, forest edges/gaps, savannahs, riparian zones, watercourses (i.e. riparian habitats), closed forests, coastal environs in tropical and sub-tropical regions, greenhouses and facultative upland.
This fruit can grows on a wide range of soils from peats through loams to sands, as well as on soils derived from corals and volcanic debris. It has annual or perennial woody tap root. This plant is also a widely grown perennial climber, and has been used in traditional medicine.
The stems grow 1.5 to 6 m in height. It appears cylindrical in shape, thin, wiry and woody, covered with sticky yellow hairs on a total surface. They give off an unpleasant odor when crushed stems and leaves are suspected of poisoning livestock.
Leaves most often have three rounded or pointed lobes, but sometimes they can be entire or five-lobed. These leaves are 3-10.5 cm long and 3-10 cm wide and are alternately arranged along the stems and borne on stalks 1-6 cm long. They are hairy on both surfaces, with the hairs along their margins often being sticky. At the base of each leaf stalk there is a tendril and a 1 cm long threadlike appendage (i.e. stipule) covered in sticky glands. It produces a pungent smell on crushing.
Flowers are 3-5 cm across vary from pinkish to white or purplish in color and are borne singly in the leaf forks on stalks 2-4.5 cm long. They are surrounded by three deeply-divided bracts 2-4 cm long that are densely covered in large sticky hairs. Each flower has five sepals 1-2 cm long and five petals 1-2 cm long. They also have five stamens, with anthers 4-5 mm long, and an ovary topped with three styles tipped with prominent stigmas. Flowering occurs mainly during autumn, winter and spring (i.e. from February to November). It flowers all year round, opening to the morning and closing before noon.
Fertile flowers are followed by smooth globose berries that are 2-3 cm diameter partially enclosed by the persistent, deeply-divided, sticky bracts. Fruits are kumquat sized and contain a bluish- white pulp that is mildly sweet and delicately flavored. These fruit are somewhat hairy and turn from green to yellow or orange in color as they mature. Fruits are eaten by birds, who disperse the seeds.
Young fruit is cyanogenic and also eaten by Villagers. The bracts of this plant serve as insect traps, which exude a sticky substance that also contains digestive enzymes. This minimizes predation on young flowers and fruits, but it is as yet unknown whether the plant digests and gain’s nourishment from the trapped insects, or if it merely uses the bracts as a defensive mechanism to protect its flowers and fruit. This is still an issue of debate, and it is considered as proto-carnivorous plant.
Seeds of Passiflora genus vary greatly in size and shape. However, several common features are apparent, including hard seed coats surrounding a white, well-developed, straight embryo, with large flat cotyledons. The thin layer of ruminated endosperm surrounds the embryo. Seeds are flat, black, woody and enclosed in sweet to aromatic pulp. The outer integument is 3-layered in Passiflora, but the inner is 3-layered in both. Seeds are covered with a succulent colored aril which originates as a small outgrowth around the funiculus at the organized embryo sack stage. The seed coat is formed by both the integuments is 6-layered in P. caerulea and P. edulis.
Health benefits of Bush Passion Fruit
Some of the benefits of the stinking passion fruit are listed below:
- Maintain healthy bones
Stinking passion fruit consists of high content of calcium that is useful for maintaining healthy bones. Healthy bones are useful for maintaining bone density so as to avoid the risk of the exposed to osteoporosis. Stinking passion flower is called the fruit to cure the bone, because it can nourish your bones.
- Prevent Anemia
Stinking passion fruit consists of good amount of iron that helps to produce red blood cells so as to prevent and overcome disease anemia.
- Prevent Cancer
Stinking passion fruit has antioxidant substances consisting of the vitamin C, flavonoids and also potassium. The contents have the ability to counteract the effects of free radicals, such as the growth of cancer cells, as well as damaging skin tissue.
- Controlling your blood pressure
The stinking passion fruit is very nice and helpful for the health of the body, because it can control blood pressure in order to remain stable.
- Maintaining healthy gums and teeth
The stinking passion fruit is not only beneficial for the health of your bones. However the content of calcium in the fruit is also able to maintain the health of your gums and teeth.
- Can overcome the Kidney Disorder
Mineral content in the fruit is also able to help kidney function in the process of excretion of urine.
Source: https://www.healthbenefitstimes.com| bush passion fruit
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