Blue Passion Flower

Passiflora caerulea

Passiflora caerulea, commonly known as the Blue Passion Flower or the Common Passion Flower, is a vine native to South America (Argentina, Paraguay (where it is widely known as the Mburucuyá in Guaraní), Uruguay and Brazil). These names may also be applied to Passiflora edulis sometimes known as the passionfruit.

It is popular with gardeners because of its intricate, scented flowers that have an almost plastic-looking appearance.
Blue Passion Flower macro, Heesch, Netherlands About 2 weeks ago, I noticed how our neighbour's passion flower plant, which grows several meters during a single summer, has made an entry into our garden by "climbing" over the fence. Great, because they are wonderful flowers. I made a note to myself that as soon as I have time, I will try a focus shifting stack on one of the flowers. As I was rather busy, each day I would just observe if the flower is still there, because a single flower was blossoming. 

Yes, it was still there each day for the whole 2 weeks. Except that it wasn't, because I've now learned that passion flowers bloom for a single day. In other words, I was looking at a different flower every single day. Quite a mindf***?

Anyway, bear with me a little as I am inexperienced in focus stacking. I've made tons of mistakes and I'm still not happy with these results, but you have to start somewhere. This is an in-house scene (every outdoor shot failed horribly due to wind) with the flower on a clamp, and a flash light for top lighting. My camera is flat on the table and I'm using the Nikon D850's inbuilt focus shifting mode, where you simply enter the number of steps and the size of each step. The background was initially not this dark yet I had to apply some brushes due to halo effects as part of the stacking process. 

And oh yes, about passion flowers. As said, they bloom for a single day. Another remarkable fact is regarding the mimicry of some species. Butterflies using this flower as a host plant to deposit eggs, first check if another butterfly did not already deposited eggs, to avoid cannibalism. The passion flower has a brilliant defense: it contains a mimic of these butterfly eggs: small, orange round bulbs that looks like eggs, but are purely a misleading appendage. 

Some different crops:

Different experiments: Europe,Focus Shift,Focus Stack,Heesch,Netherlands,Passiflora caerulea,World


A woody vine capable of growing to 15–20 m high where supporting trees are available. The leaves are alternate, palmately five-lobed like a spread hand (sometimes three or seven lobes), 10–18 cm long and wide. The base of each leaf has a flagellate-twining tendril 5–10 cm long, which twines around supporting vegetation to hold the plant up.

The flower is complex, about 10 cm in diameter, with the five sepals and petals similar in appearance, whitish in colour, surmounted by a corona of blue or violet filaments, then five greenish-yellow stamens and three purple stigmas. The fruit is an oval orange-yellow berry 6 cm long by 4 cm in diameter, containing numerous seeds; it is eaten, and the seeds spread by mammals and birds. In tropical climates, it will flower all year round.
Blue Passion Flower - core, Heesch, Netherlands A focus shift stack of just the stem of a passion flower. Held in a clamp in a diagonal angle towards the camera, back-lit by a flash light, bottom-lit by UV light (which does nothing on passion flowers). Closer:
Here's another stack from another angle:

Setup: Blue Passion Flower,Focus Shift,Focus Stack,Passiflora caerulea


Passiflora caerulea is cultivated worldwide (it is also a pest plant in certain countries). Even though the fruit is edible, it is rather insipid when eaten raw. It can substitute for blackberries. More palatable is the fruit of the Passiflora edulis, which is sweet and acidic. A tea can be made of the flower and is said to alleviate stress and anxiety. However, tetraphyllin B and epi-tetraphyllin B, cyanogenic glycosides (which liberate hydrogen cyanide when activated by enzymes), have been found in the leaves. It is possible to boil away most of the cyanide.[citation needed].
In South America, it is used to make juice and delicious desserts such as the passion fruit mousse.
Bee on passion fruit flower  Maracujá,Passiflora caerulea,Passiflora edulis,Passion fruit


The flower of the passion fruit is considered as the national flower of Paraguay. It is said to be the Jesus Flower. Each part of the flower represents a different part of the Passion of Christ. See Passiflora "Etymology and names" section for more information about the symbolism.


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