T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Passiflora edulis (Common Passionfruit))

Kingdom: Plantae
(Unranked): Angiosperms
(Unranked): Eudicots
(Unranked): Rosids
Order: Malpighiales
Family: Passifloraceae
Genus: Passiflora
Species: P. edulis
Binomial name: Passiflora edulis
Common name: Passionfruit

Passiflora edulis is an evergreen liana with grooved woody stems and is a native to Paraguay, Brazil and northern Argentina. It has spiraling tendrils that the plant uses for support.
The name of "Passion Flower" is the Spanish Jesuits began to see a similarity between elements of the flower and various instruments of the Passion of Christ. The wreath represent the crown of thorns, the wounds the 5 stamens, the pistil the cross, the stigmas 3 nails and the bracts of the Blessed Trinity.
It has shiny leaves which are deeply 3-lobed with toothed margins and can be up to 17cm long and 20cm wide.
In summer it develops very fragrant flowers (up to 9cm) with white petals, topped by a band of violet purple filaments.
The fruit is scented, edible, and ovoid and the size of a hen's egg (4-6 cm), the shiny skin turns purple at maturity. The pulp yellow to orange, juicy, gelatinous, and contains many black seeds. The fruits are eaten when they are slightly wrinkled.  It is a food rich in vitamins and minerals.
The Passiflora edulis is a vigorous grower and if it's allowed to seed birds will spread those seeds to native bush. The vines can smother trees. The simple message is, if you grow it, harvest the fruit and stop the problem.



Top surface of the leaf


The underside of a leaf


A young developing fruit