Passion fruit

Passiflora edulis (Passifloraceae)

Characteristics

Perennial vine. Fast-growing (up to 7m per year). Short-lived (max. 7 years). Flowers 5-8 cm wide, at each node of the climbing plant. 5 green sepals and 5 white/purple petals. Fruit (botanically a berry) entirely fleshy, outside colour from dark-purple with fine white specks to light yellow, 4-8 cm in diameter. Within the berry, typically 250 black edible seeds, each of them surrounded by a membranous sac filled with pulpy juice. Flavour slightly acidic. Edible.

Distribution

Native to Southern Brazil, Paraguay and Northern Argentinia. Today cultivated commercially in tropical and subtropical areas.

Natural Medical Properties

The pulp of the fruit is stimulant and tonic.

The flower is a sedative when made into a tea.

Did you know?

The flower of the Passion fruit was known by Spanish missionaries as the “Flor de las cinco lagas” (Flower of the five wounds) because it illustrated the crucifixion of Christ. Hence, the name “Passion fruit” was originated. In Portugese, Passion fruit is called “maracujà”, after a Native American word which is not so pleasant 😉

Further reading:

Literature

World Flora Online
WorldChecklist of Selected Plant Families
A working list of all plant species