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Passiflora tenuiloba (Birdwing passionflower)
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia

Passiflora tenuiloba

Passiflora tenuiloba Engelm.

Birdwing Passionflower, Slender-lobe Passionflower, Spread Lobe Passionflower, Bird Wing Passionflower

Passifloraceae (Passion-Flower Family)


USDA Symbol: PATE9

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

A vine with tendrils in leaf axils and bizarre, greenish flowers.

Unlike this species, which has evolutionarily lost its petals, most Passiflora have 10 petal-like parts; the common name passionflower relates to the resemblance of these flower parts to aspects of the Crucifixion story. The 10 petal-like parts represent the disciples, excluding Peter and Judas; the five stamens, the wounds Jesus received; the knob-like stigmas, the nails; and the fringed corona, the crown of thorns. There are several Passiflora species in the Southwest.


From the Image Gallery

29 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Vine
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Fruit Type: Berry
Size Notes: Stems scrambling over ground, rocks and other plants, up to about 4 feet long.
Fruit: Dark blue to black.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Green , Purple
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov , Dec


Native Distribution: Southern New Mexico, southwestern Texas, and northern Mexico.
Native Habitat: Open limestone areas, dry, caliche soils, growing over boulders and sometimes into low shrubs; mainly in Edwards Plateau to south Texas.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Conditions Comments: As are other species of Passionvine, Slender lobed passionvine spreads by suckering and is a larval food plant for Gulf fritillary, Zebra longwing, and Julia butterflies. The flowers are not large or brightly colored, but are very intricate and delicate.


Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
Attracts: Butterflies
Larval Host: Gulf Fritillary
Deer Resistant: Minimal

Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)

Gulf Fritillary
(Agraulis vanillae)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
NPSOT - Austin Chapter - Austin, TX
National Butterfly Center - Mission, TX

Herbarium Specimen(s)

NPSOT 0437 Collected Jun 24, 1993 in Comal County by Mary Beth White
NPSOT 0687 Collected Sep 20, 1993 in Bexar County by Mike Fox

2 specimen(s) available in the Digital Herbarium

Wildflower Center Seed Bank

LBJWC-1204 Collected 2008-08-18 in Brewster County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

1 collection(s) available in the Wildflower Center Seed Bank


Bibref 1186 - Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America (2005) Covell, C.V., Jr.
Bibref 1185 - Field Guide to Western Butterflies (Peterson Field Guides) (1999) Opler, P.A. and A.B. Wright
Bibref 286 - Wildflowers of the Texas Hill Country (1989) Enquist, M.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Passiflora tenuiloba in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Passiflora tenuiloba in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Passiflora tenuiloba


Record Modified: 2023-02-21
Research By: DIEHL

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