PROTA homepage Prota 11(1): Medicinal plants/Plantes médicinales 1
Record display


Passiflora suberosa L.

Protologue
Sp. pl. 2: 958 (1753).
Family
Passifloraceae
Chromosome number
2n = 12, 24, 36
Vernacular names
Corky passionflower, corkystem passionflower, devil’s pumpkin, indigo berry, wild passionfruit (En). Grenadille, passiflore (Fr). Maracujá (Po).
Origin and geographic distribution
Passiflora suberosa originates from tropical America and is a locally established weed in many tropical countries. In Africa it occurs in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, South Africa, and also in the Indian Ocean islands.
Uses
In Mauritius a leaf decoction is applied externally to treat urticaria and itch. A root decoction is taken to induce menstruation and to treat hysteria. On Rodrigues a decoction of the plant mixed with either a pinch of salt or with a decoction of young leaves of Momordica charantia L. is taken to treat indigestion.
Properties
The aerial parts of Passiflora suberosa contain simple indole alkaloids, tannins, coumarines, sterols, terpenes and the cyanogenic glycosides passisuberosin and epipassisuberosin. The fruits contain several anthocyanins.
Botany
Perennial herbaceous climber, glabrous or hairy; stem up to 6 m long, angular, corky when older, purplish. Leaves alternate, usually deeply 3-lobed; stipules linear, 5–8 mm long; petiole 1–2.5 cm long, with 2 opposed wart-like glands at the middle; blade circular to ovate or oblong in outline, 4–10 cm × 4–14 cm, the central lobe largest, base rounded or cordate, apex acute. Flowers in leaf axils, 1–2 together with a simple tendril 3–12 cm long, bisexual, regular, 5-merous, 1–2 cm in diameter, pale greenish yellow; pedicel 1–2 cm long, jointed about half way; hypanthium saucer-shaped, 3–5 mm wide; sepals ovate to lanceolate, 5–10 mm long, obtuse; petals absent; corona threads in 2 series, 2–6 mm long, yellow with purple base; disk annular, androgynophore 2–4 mm long; stamens free, filaments 2–3 mm long, anthers 1–2 mm long; ovary superior, globose to ellipsoid, 1–2 mm in diameter, glabrous, 1-celled, styles 3, 2–3 mm long. Fruit an almost globose berry 1–1.5 cm in diameter, glabrous, purple-black, many-seeded. Seeds ovoid, 3–4 mm long, wrinkled.
Passiflora comprises about 400 species, most of them in tropical and subtropical America, but about 20 in Asia and Australia. Passiflora is not indigenous in Africa, but several species have been introduced, mostly for their edible fruits. Passiflora suberosa is a variable species and may include several cryptic species; it needs revision.
Ecology
Passiflora suberosa is naturalized in grassland, shrub land, open dry forest, roadsides and disturbed shady localities, from sea-level up to 2500 m altitude. It is an aggressive weed, which may smother the natural vegetation. The seeds are dispersed by fruit-eating birds.
Genetic resources and breeding
Passiflora suberosa is considered an invasive weed e.g. in South Africa where it is listed as harmful, and as such it is subject to eradication practices and not protection measures.
Prospects
Passiflora suberosa is only locally used for medicinal purposes, and will remain of little importance unless pharmacological research shows other possibilities. It is subject to research because of its resistance against plant viruses and fungi that attack Passiflora edulis Sims.
Major references
• Adjanohoun, E.J., Aké Assi, L., Eymé, J., Gassita, J.N., Goudoté, E., Guého, J., Ip, F.S.L., Jackaria, D., Kalachand, S.K.K., Keita, A., Koudogbo, B., Landreau, D., Owadally, A.W. & Soopramanien, A., 1983. Médecine traditionelle et pharmacopée - Contribution aux études ethnobotaniques et floristiques à Maurice (Iles Maurice et Rodrigues). Agence de Coopération Culturelle et Technique, Paris, France. 216 pp.
• de Wilde, W.J.J.O., 1975. Passifloraceae. In: Polhill, R.M. (Editor). Flora of Tropical East Africa. Crown Agents for Oversea Governments and Administrations, London, United Kingdom. 71 pp.
• Dhawan, K., Dhawan, S. & Sharma, A., 2004. Passiflora: a review update. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 94: 1–23.
• Gurib-Fakim, A., Guého, J. & Bissoondoyal, M.D., 1997. Plantes médicinales de Maurice, tome 3. Editions de l’Océan Indien, Rose-Hill, Mauritius. 471 pp.
• Monteiro, A.C.B., Nakazawa, G.T., Mendes, B.M.J. & Rodriguez, A.P.M., 2000. In vitro regeneration of Passiflora suberosa from leaf discs. Scientia Agricola 57(3): 571–573.
• Porter-Utley, K.E., 2003. Revision of Passiflora subgenus Decaloba supersection Cieca (Passifloraceae). D. Phil.Thesis, University of Florida, United States. [Internet] http://www.passionflow.co.uk/ downloads/ porterutley_k.pdf. Accessed September 2006.
Other references
• Fischer, I.H., Lourenço, S.A., Martins, M.C., Kimati, H. & Amorim, L., 2005. Selection of resistant plants and fungicides for the control of passion fruit stem rot caused by Phytophthora nicotianae. Summa Phytopathologica 31(2): 165–172.
• Gurib-Fakim, A., Guého, J., Sewraj, M.D. & Dulloo, E., 1994. Plantes médicinales de l’île Rodrigues. Editions de l’Océan Indien, Rose-Hill, Mauritius. 580 pp.
• Gurib-Fakim, A., Sewraj, M., Guého, J. & Dulloo, E., 1993. Medical ethnobotany of some weeds of Mauritius and Rodrigues. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 39(3): 177–185.
• Kidøy, L., Nygaard, A.M., Andersen, O.M., Pedersen, A.T., Aksnes, D.W. & Kiremire, B.T., 1997. Anthocyanins in fruits of Passiflora edulis and P. suberosa. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis 10: 49–54.
• Spencer, K.C. & Seigler, D.S., 1987. Passisuberosin and epipassisuberosin: two cyclopentenoid cyanogenic glycosides from Passiflora suberosa. Phytochemistry 26: 1665–1667.
Author(s)
A. de Ruijter
PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands


Editors
G.H. Schmelzer
PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands
A. Gurib-Fakim
Faculty of Science, University of Mauritius, Réduit, Mauritius
Associate editors
C.H. Bosch
PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands
M.S.J. Simmonds
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 3AB, United Kingdom
R. Arroo
Leicester School of Pharmacy, Natural Products Research, De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester LE1 9BH, United Kingdom
A. de Ruijter
PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands
General editors
R.H.M.J. Lemmens
PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands
L.P.A. Oyen
PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands
Photo editor
A. de Ruijter
PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands

Correct citation of this article:
de Ruijter, A., 2007. Passiflora suberosa L. In: Schmelzer, G.H. & Gurib-Fakim, A. (Editors). Prota 11(1): Medicinal plants/Plantes médicinales 1. [CD-Rom]. PROTA, Wageningen, Netherlands.
petiole
obtained from
W.D. Hawthorne


flower
obtained from
W.D. Hawthorne


fruiting stem
obtained from
W.D. Hawthorne


seeds
obtained from
S. Hurst