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Passiflora unipetala flower and bud | Passiflora unipetala flower side view | Anoura fistulata pollinating Passiflora unipetala

Image © 2008 Nathan Muchhala

 

Passiflora unipetala
(Tacsonia
)
Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve, Pichincha Province NW Ecuador 2012

This extraordinary looking bat-pollinated Passiflora (which possibly may also be visited by hummingbirds) was found by Nathan Muchhala (University of Toronto - Pollen Biologist) in cloud forests in NW Ecuador at around 2000m elevation in 2008. This is a new species with the unique characteristic out of all the known Passiflora species of only having one petal - which seems to be acting as an umbrella to keep the pollen dry. Neil Gale also suggests that the shape may reflect the bat's ultrasonic signals as it approaches the flower. A truly remarkable flower named in Novon: A Journal for Botanical Nomenclature 22(2):174-179. 2012