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Birdwing Passionflower, Passiflora tenuiloba | Wildflower Wednesday

Birdwing Passionflower, Passiflora tenuiloba

Birdwing Passionflower, Passiflora tenuiloba

Gulf fritillary on Birdwing Passionflower, Passiflora tenuiloba

Gulf fritillary on Birdwing Passionflower, Passiflora tenuiloba

Gulf fritillary on Birdwing Passionflower, Passiflora tenuiloba

Last summer during our stay near Dripping Springs I spent some time wandering the area just outside of our AirBnB to see what I could glean for iNaturalist. I noticed a gulf fritillary wandering along a vine and it made me pause for a moment. Gulf fritillary should mean a passiflora somewhere but nothing was standing out to me directly as a passionvine. Of course a closer look meant that I found small fruits and flower beds and once I focused in on the interesting leaf shapes I knew it was for sure a passiflora species. My first thought was Passiflora affinis, which I had seen in areas nearby in the Hill Country. But it was clearly not that. It turned out to be one I hadn’t seen, or at least that I couldn’t recall, Passiflora tenuiloba.

This is also a Hill Country specialty with the plant being found further into the Big Bend region and along the Rio Grande, as well as in northeastern Mexico. I did snag one fruit in hopes of starting a plant at home but nothing ever germinated, much to my disappointment. I would definitely try again if I ever come across seeds again.

Keep an eye out while you are out in the Hill Country for this unusual passiflora species!

3 Comments

  • Missi

    I’ve got the bird wing passionflower volunteering in my garden area. They’re lovely little flowers and the two tone leaves are very pleasing. Right now the fruits are ripening to a very deep purple, almost black. I’m not sure if they’re edible or not but I have enough that I could harvest and make a batch of jam with if they were.

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