Passionfruit - Passiflora edulis, P. edulis flavicarpa - Growables
Passionfruit is a native of southern Brazil where it grows on the edges of rain forests. There are two distinct forms: forma edulis, the purple passionfruit, occurs in cool environments at higher altitudes, whereas forma flavicarpa, the yellow passionfruit, is at home in the tropical lowlands. The two types were distributed throughout the tropics and subtropics via Europe and Australia during the 19th Century. In South-East Asia passionfruit is mainly a home garden crop. 2
Passiflora edulis is a stout-stemmed, evergreen climbing shrub, producing stems 9 meters or more long that scramble over the ground or clamber into other plants for support, attaching itself by means of coiling tendrils. 15 It is generally short-lived (5 to 7 years). 3
In Passiflora edulis two forms are distinguished:
- f. edulis: the purple passionfruit with deep purple fruits 4-5 cm in diameter, with green tendrils and leaves. This is the most common form, said to have the best flavour.
- f. flavicarpa Degener: the yellow passionfruit with canary-yellow fruits 6-12 cm x 4-7 cm and reddish-purple tinged tendrils and leaves; larger, more showy flowers with deeper purple corona and more vigorous growth. 2
Of the 400 known species of Passiflora L. about 50-60 bear edible fruits. In South-East Asia 5 non-edible species are endemic; about 13 edible species have been introduced. In addition to Passiflora edulis, Passiflora quadrangularis L. is important. Frequently, Passiflora plants are cultivated as ornamentals for their showy flowers. 2
Note: Petiole, foliar and bract glands. In all but a few species nectar-yielding glands are present in some form, on the petiole or margin of the bract or underside of the leaf (Fig. 9,12,13). The presence of absence of these glands on the petiole, their shape, number and and position are taxonomically important to separate species and groups of species. 15