QTY: 20 SEEDS
Other Names: Passion Fruit, Granadilla, Purple Granadilla
The Purple Passion Fruit, native from southern Brazil through Paraguay to northern Argentina, is a vigorous, climbing vine that clings by tendrils to almost any support. It can grow 15 to 20 feet per year once established and must have strong support. It is generally short-lived (5 to 7 years). The evergreen leaves of Purple Passion Fruit are alternate, deeply 3-lobed when mature and finely toothed. They are 3 to 8 inches long, deep green and glossy above, paler and dull beneath and, like the young stems and tendrils, tinged with red or purple. A single, fragrant flower, 2 to 3 inches wide, is born at each node on the new growth. The bloom, clasped by 3 large, green, lifelike bracts, consists of 5 greenish-white sepals, 5 white petals and a fringelike corona of straight, white-tipped rays, rich purple at the base. It also has 5 stamens with large anthers, the ovary and triple-branched style forming a prominent central structure. Purple Passion Fruit is self-fruitful, but pollination is best under humid conditions.
Carpenter bees are the most efficient pollinator, much more so than honey bees. Wind is ineffective because of the heaviness and stickiness of the pollen. The flowers can also be hand pollinated. The nearly round or ovoid fruit, 1-1/2 to 3 inches wide, has a tough rind that is smooth and waxy and ranging in hue from dark purple with faint, fine white specks, to light yellow or pumpkin-color. Within is a cavity more or less filled with an aromatic mass of double walled, membranous sacs containing orange-colored, pulpy juice and as many as 250 small, hard, dark brown or black, pitted seeds.
The unique flavor is appealing, musky, guava-like and sweet/tart to tart. The yellow form has generally larger fruit than the purple, but the pulp of the purple is less acid, richer in aroma and flavor and has a higher proportion of juice (35-38%). The vine, especially the yellow form, is fast-growing and will begin to bear in 1 to 3 years. Ripening occurs 70 to 80 days after pollination. The fruit will quickly turn from green to deep purple (or yellow) when ripe and then fall to the ground within a few days. They can either be picked when they change color or gathered from the ground each day. To store passion fruit, wash and dry them gently and place them in bags. They should last 2 to 3 weeks at 50° F. The fruit is sweetest when slightly shriveled. Both the fruit and the juice freeze well. The flavor of passion fruit blends well with citrus and many other fruit flavors and is quickly appreciated by many people as they become familiar with it.