Passionflower | Passion Flower

There are about 400 species of passionfruit. Many passionflower plants are ornamental, tendrilled climbers, some produce delicious fruit. Most require warm-temperate to tropical conditions. Deciduous in colder areas, it can survive occasional winter freezes.

granadilla curd

A common wild flower in the southern United States, it was used as a tonic by Native Americans, and it was first noted by a Western doctor in 1783. The leaves are palmately divided with 3 to 5 smooth, textured, pointed lobes with serrated margins. The fragrant large flowers are lavender-coloured, with a white centre and a deeper purple, thread like corona. The fruits, ovoid yellow berries when ripe, are about 5cm long.

It prefers a light, acidic soil and a warm, sunny position. In cooler areas it is an excellent greenhouse plant. Sow passionflower seed in spring when the soil has warmed. Or propagate by semi-ripe stem cuttings in summer, or by layering. Provide a trellis or other support, and mulch plants well. Shape and prune the vine as necessary in spring.

Pick the fruits at the ‘dropping’ stage. The seeds and the pulp of ripe fruits have a tangy flavour, and are eaten raw or used in fruit salads and other desserts, curds, jams, jellies and fruit drinks. The popular cocktail called the Hurricane is made with passionfruit syrup, rum and lime juice.

information sourced from The Complete Book of Herbs

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