Thursday, September 16, 2010
Botanical name: Passiflora edulis L.
Other name: Passiflora, apricot vine, grenadilla, maracuja, maracuya.
Passion fruits are great for use in soft drinks or cocktails. The fruits grow on a climbing plant which is also well known for its beautiful flowers. The passion fruit vine is a strong, vigorous, evergreen climber, produces egg sized fruit filled with wonderfully tart, bright orange pulp and it originated in South America. This uncommon golden passion fruit is native in Malaysia. Passion fruit vines are hardy to 32F, so protect from any frosts. They can withstand short drops below 32F but foliage may die back. It can grow about 20ft per year. The plant vine can live between 5 to 7 years. Passion fruit can grow well in Southern California and Florida.
How to grow
It grows and produces well between altitudes of 2,000 and 4,000 ft (650-1,300 m).
Soil type: light to heavy sandy loams, of medium texture are most suitable, and pH should be from 6.5 to 7.5. If the soil is too acid, lime must be applied. Good drainage is essential to minimize the incidence of collar rot.
Seeds are planted 1/2 in (1.25 cm) deep in beds, and seedlings may be transplanted when 10 in (25 cm) high.
Regular watering will keep a vine flowering and fruiting almost continuously.
Pruning passion fruit is essential to avoid overgrown and fungal diseases.
Late spring to summer
Usually 18 months for first fruit bearing.
Passion fruit falls from the vine when mature, and the fruit is harvested off the ground.
Eat raw as fruit or use the fruit pulps to make juices or addictive.
In Madeira, the juice of passion fruits is given as a digestive stimulant and treatment for gastric cancer.
Good sources of potassium, vitamin A & C and dietary fiber