PURPLE PASSION FRUIT


PASSIFLORA EDULIS

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June and July are the months when Purple Passion Fruit ripens, sometimes called Granadilla (Spanish for little pomegranate).  Native to Brazil the fruit grows on a vigorous vine and produces large passion flowers that bloom in April. The flowers are impressive, but there are lots of ornamental varieties that produce even more spectacular flowers. The Edulis flower produces a green egg-shaped fruit that turns purple-brown when ripe and falls off the vine.  The fruit is collected off the ground and allowed to shrivel on the kitchen counter.  It is then cut in half and the inside seeds, with the very aromatic yellow jelly sacs, are spooned out and slurped down or added to fruit salad ice cream or yogurt.  The yellow sacs can be eaten, seeds and all, or possibly mashed in a tea strainer, if you don’t care to eat the seeds.  If eaten with the seeds, the fruit provides good roughage or dietary fiber. 

 

The vines are easy to grow in just about any kind of soil, and need very little care except training since they are so vigorous. If you water and fertilize them with just about any kind of fertilizer, the will grow even better.  The plant likes full sun, but does well in the shade too.  I have one under a pecan tree that is growing in poor soil, gets very little watering, and still produces lots of fruit.  I have not seen any insects bother the vine or fruit.  But the leaf footed stink bug will sting the flower.  The vines will take some cold, but can freeze.  I start all my vines from seed which will produce fruit in one to two years.  See my web link for seed propagation.  The plant can live up to about five years.  I have very few problems with animals such as squirrels, raccoons, etc. bothering the fruit since it has a tough leathery skin that has to be cut open to get to the aromatic sacs.  This is one of the few plants that you can grow and not worry so much that the fruit is going to be eaten by some varmint before you get to eat it.

 jep 7-16-08

Passion Fruit Flower and Green Fruit

(Double click on picture for enlargement)

 

Ripe Passion Fruit

with very aromatic yellow jelly sacs

(Double click on picture for enlargement)

 

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