• Chemical markers;
  • flavonoids;
  • Passiflora



Leaves and fruits of Passiflora species are widely used around the world in popular medicine, mainly as sedatives and tranquilisers. C-glycosyl flavonoids are the main components of these species.


To investigate the constituent patterns and to develop a chromatographic method for the characterisation of the C-glycosyl flavonoids profile of the extracts of the leaves and the pericarp of South American Passiflora species.


The chemical composition of extracts from the leaves and the fruits' pericarp of Passiflora edulis var. flavicarpa, P. edulis var. edulis, Passiflora alata, Passiflora tripartita var. mollissima, Passiflora quadrangularis, Passiflora manicata and Passiflora ligularis was evaluated for the presence of C-glycosyl flavonoids. Two separate HPLC methods were developed suitable for a diode array detector (DAD) and a MS detector. Separation by HPLC-DAD was achieved on a Luna C-18 column, using solvent A (tetrahydrofuran–isopropanol–acetonitrile) and solvent B (H3PO4 0.5%) in an isocratic elution mode. In the HPLC-MS, the components were separated on a Luna RP-18A column by a gradient elution (water–acetonitrile–formic acid).


The presence of C-glycosyl flavonoids was identified in leaves and pericarp of P. edulis var. flavicarpa, P. alata, P. edulis var. edulis and P. tripartita var. molissima, but only in leaf extracts of P. quadrangularis and P. manicata and not at all in P. ligularis. The different species and varieties showed different major constituents. The C-glycosyl flavonoids identified more frequently were orientin, isoorientin, vitexin and isovitexin.


The methods established are simple and can be used as a tool for the characterisation and quality control of pharmaceutical preparations containing these Passiflora extracts. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.