Passiflora psilantha (Sodiro) Killip
Tacsonia psilantha Sodiro
Tacsonia tripartita Juss.
Common Name: Tacso
Flowering plant, growing into the surrounding vegetation
Photograph by: Jon Sullivan
Passiflora tripartita is an evergreen, climbing shrub producing stems up to 5 metres long. These stems scramble over the ground or clamber into the surrounding vegetation, attaching themselves by means of coiling tendrils[
The edible fruit is greatly appreciated locally, and is often gathered from the wild. The plant is also cultivated for its fruit in parts of the tropics, the fruit being sold in local markets in S. America[
Western S. America - Ecuador.
Mountains of central Ecuador[
Passiflora tripartita is a plant of the tropics, usually found at elevations above 2,400 metres. Plants require a temperature no lower than around 16°c when they are flowering in order to ensure fruit set[
]. Plants can tolerate occasional low temperatures down to -5°c[
]. Plants dislike periods of dry weather longer than about 4 weeks[
Requires a humus-rich, moist but well-drained soil and a position in dappled shade where it can grow up towards the sun[
]. Prefers a circumneutral soil, disliking very acid or very alkaline conditions[
]. Passiflora species tend to flower and fruit more freely when grown in soils of only moderate fertility[
Plants are very tolerant of pruning and can be cut back to ground level if required to rejuvenate the plant[
]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[
Fruit - raw or made into juices, ice creams etc[
]. The juicy orange to red pulp surrounding the seeds is eaten[
]. The deep yellow, oblong fruit is about 75mm long[
The leaves and roots of some, if not all, members of this genus contain a substance called 'passiflorina' which has similaritiesr to morphine and is an effective tranquilizer[
]. We have no specific information for this species but many species are used in herbal infusions to calm the nerves and help bring about a restful sleep[
The leaves of many species are also considered to be anthelmintic, antihysteric and diaphoretic. They are used in Brazil to combat intermittent fevers, cutaneous inflammations, and erysipelas[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe along with the pulp which will help break down the seed coat and speed up germination[
]. Stored seed should be soaked for 24 hours in warm water and germination time can be reduced if the seed is then mixed with the juice of a fresh passion fruit (of any species)[
]. Even so, it can take 12 months for stored seed to germinate[
]. Place the seed tray in a shady position, maintaining a temperature around 19 - 24°c[
]. Prick the seedlings out into individual containers as soon as they are large enough to handle and plant out when large enough[
Cuttings of young shoots, taken at the nodes.
Layering. Very easy[
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