Passiflora foetida var. gossypiifolia
Trans. Linn. Soc. London 27: 631. 1871.
Stems terete, densely hairy. Leaves pungent, densely hairy, glandular-ciliate; stipules pectinate, 2–5 × 1–3 mm, with glandular bristles or hairs; petiole with glandular bristles or hairs; blade roughly symmetric, 3–5 (–8) × 2.5–5.5 (–7) cm, moderately to deeply 3-lobed, middle lobe as long as or longer than lateral lobes, margins serrate to nearly entire; abaxial fine veins weakly to moderately raised, abaxial nectaries absent. Floral bracts pinnatifid, 20–30 × 20–25 mm, margins serrate to nearly entire, with glandular bristles or hairs. Flowers: floral-tube cuplike, 3–5 mm deep; sepals white, 15–25 × 5–7 mm; petals white, 15–23 × 5–7 mm; corona filament whorls 5–6, outer 2 whorls purple to violet, linear, terete to transversely compressed, 10–17 mm. Berries green to yellow-green, ovoid to subglobose, 15–25 × 15–25 mm.
Phenology: Flowering May–Aug(–Dec).
Habitat: Woodlands and shrublands, usually subtropical, in moist to dry, loamy to sandy soil, 10–200(–300) m
Tex., Mexico, West Indies, South America
Variety gossypiifolia is perhaps the most naturally widespread member of this diverse species and exhibits a large amount of vegetative morphological variation as well (E. P. Killip 1938). Varieties of Passiflora foetida and some related species share the common features of mature leaves that are pungent when bruised and fruits that are green to yellow. The taxonomy of this species and other members of sect. Dysosmia is complicated and requires much more research.
Plants with small, orange fruit, possibly of var. hispida (de Candolle ex Triana & Planchon) Killip ex Gleason, recently have been found naturalized in the city of Coconut Creek, Broward County, Florida, although efforts to eradicate it are being implemented.
Passiflora foetida is suspected of insectivory. The glandular trichomes have the ability to trap and kill small invertebrates, with the potential for enzymatic absorption (T. R. Radhamani et al. 1995).