Passiflora lutea

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Common names: yellow passionflower[1], little passionflower[2]

Passiflora lutea
Passiflora lutea SEF.jpg
Photo by John Gwaltney hosted at Southeastern
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida - Dicots
Order: Violales
Family: Passifloraceae
Genus: Passiflora
Species: P. lutea
Binomial name
Passiflora lutea
Natural range of Passiflora lutea from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Taxonomic Notes

Synonyms: none[2]

Varieties: Passiflora lutea var. glabriflora Fernald; P. lutea var. lutea[2]


P. lutea is a perennial forb/herb/vine of the Passifloraceae family that is native to North America.[1]It climbs with axillary, simple tendrils. Its leaves are alternate, simple, and stipulate. The flowers are actinomorphic, solitary, ar fascicled in the leaf axils. There are five sepals, five petals, and a conspicuous corona. There are 5 stamens, 3 styles, capitate stigmas, and a 3-locular ovary. The sepals are 5-20 mm long, green, pale yellow, or white. The petals are 5-11 mm long, greenish-yellow to white, and the berry is 7-12 mm long. The petiole lacks paired glands, while the leaf blade lacks laminar glands.[2]


P. lutea is found throughout the southeastern United States; from Florida north to Pennsylvania, and west to Texas and Kansas.[1]



P. lutea has little tolerance for drought conditions and a low tolerance for fire. It is extremely tolerant of shade.[1] Common environments for P. lutea include woodlands, forests, thickets, and maritime forests.[2]

Specimens have been recovered from edges of maritime hammocks, disturbed roadsides near woodlands, on bases of slopes, and pine-oak woodlands.[3]

P. lutea has shown resistance to regrowth in response to agricultural-based soil disturbance in South Carolina coastal plain communities, making it an indicator species for remnant woodlands.[4]


P. lutea flowers from May through September and fruits from August through October.[5]

Fire ecology

Populations of Passiflora lutea have been known to persist through repeated annual burning.[6]

Herbivory and toxicology

Birds have been observed to use this species for food.[1]

Conservation, cultivation, and restoration

P. lutea is considered a weed in Illinois but is labeled as endangered in Pennsylvania.[1]

Cultural use

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 USDA Plant Database
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Weakley, A.S. 2020. Flora of the Southeastern United States. Edition of 20 October 2020. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
  3. URL: Last accessed: June 2018. Collectors: Loran C. Anderson, States and counties: Florida (Wakulla, Leon, Liberty)
  4. Brudvig, L.A., E Grman, C.W. Habeck, and J.A. Ledvina. (2013). Strong legacy of agricultural land use on soils and understory plant communities in longleaf pine woodlands. Forest Ecology and Management 310: 944-955.
  5. Nelson, G. PanFlora: Plant data for the eastern United States with emphasis on the Southeastern Coastal Plains, Florida, and the Florida Panhandle. Accessed: 24 MAY 2018
  6. Platt, W.J., R. Carter, G. Nelson, W. Baker, S. Hermann, J. Kane, L. Anderson, M. Smith, K. Robertson. 2021. Unpublished species list of Wade Tract old-growth longleaf pine savanna, Thomasville, Georgia.