Passiflora edulis 'Purple Giant' is a passionflower that produces very fragrant, unusual flowers. The flowers are white, except the base of the corona which is purple; the filaments are curly, as long as petals; 5 to 7cm (2 to 3in) across. Flowering occurs from April to November but may occasionally continue year-round if conditions are right. Flowers will self-pollinate and are followed by green fruit, 6cm (½in) long, turning purple when ripe.
Fruits usually ripen from flowering in 80 days. The edible fruits possess pleasant flavour, kind of sweet and a little tart. Evergreen leaves, deeply three lobed, shiny and deep green above, paler and dull beneath.
The types of Passion fruit grown that bear edible fruit in our climates are all very fragile. When grown outside they must be very well sheltered. Passion fruit will do better in a greenhouse or conservatory and will grow big enough to produce fruit roughly 12 months after growing from seed.
The plants are hardy to 1°C (35°F) in winter so protect from any frosts. Ideal temperatures of 15° to 28°C in summer and 13 to 18°C through the winter. They will will do best in a loam based mix with a little peat moss. Passion flowers like a position in full sun and will scramble over trees and shrubs to get it.
Passion flowers can be grown in a container, a suitably sized pot for an adult plant would generally be of 30cm (12in) in diameter. If their pot is too large or they have an unrestricted root run then the whole plant will simply get bigger but it will refuse to flower and produce fruits. By limiting the pot size you are limiting the ability to grow and this is seen as a threat, so the natural mechanism is to produce seeds for the next generation.
Sow in late winter/late spring and late summer/autumn.
Prior to Sowing, Soak the seeds for 24 hours. Soaking is beneficial in two ways; it can soften a hard seed coat and also leach out any chemical inhibitors in the seed which may prevent germination. 24 hours in water which starts off hand hot is usually sufficient. If soaking for longer the water should be changed daily. Seeds of some species swell up when they are soaked. As each seed swells it should be removed and sown before it has time to dry out. and the remainder pricked gently with a pin and returned to soak. Sow seeds on the surface of a peaty compost, 'just cover' with 6mm (¼in) of soil, they need to be near to the surface as the seeds need light to germinate.
Germination of Passiflora can occur in weeks or take several months.
If your home is on the low side of 20°C (68°F), your seeds will benefit from bottom heat with an electric soil warming cable kit, or a heating mat. It will stimulate early growth, and help seeds to germinate and cut the germination time by half. Cover the top of the pot with clear plastic so the humidity will remain high.
When you see some tiny plants starting to sprout, open the top of the pot, a little each day, so that the new seedlings don't go into shock from the humidity being lowered too quickly. Prick out each seedling as it becomes large enough to handle, transplant into 7.5cm (3in) pots. Pot on as required. These plants have very fragile white roots and should be handled with care when potting up.
Grow on under glass in loam-based potting compost in full light with shade from hot sun. You may need to water your plants on a daily basis during the hottest summer months. During the winter the roots should be kept moist, but as growth will be much slower you will probably only need to water once a week, depending on growing temperature. Fertilise at least once every two weeks in the growing season.
If planting outdoors, gradually acclimatise to outdoor conditions for 10 to 15 days before planting out, space 30cm (12in) apart. Passion flowers like full sun and will scramble over trees and shrubs to get it.
Pot grown plants:
If the pot is too large or they have an unrestricted root run then the whole plant will simply get bigger but it will refuse to flower and produce fruits. By limiting the pot size you are limiting the ability to grow and this is seen as a threat, so the natural mechanism is to produce seeds for the next generation. A suitably sized pot for an adult plant would generally be of 30cm (12in) in diameter.
Pruning is a must to keep the vine healthy. Prune off less vigorous growth and occasionally prune back vigorous growth to promote flowering. When established, and without care, the passion flower can easily overtake other plants, shading them from sun. Prune in late winter or spring, by shortening side shoots to within three to four buds of the permanent framework of branches. This induces more compact growth and promotes the formation of flower buds in the shortened shoots.
Fences or trellis work or scrambling up trees and shrubs. Patio/Container Plants, Sub-tropical or Wall-side Borders. Container, Indoor / Greenhouse Plant
Passiflora edulis is a vine species of passion flower that is native to southern Brazil through Paraguay to northern Argentina. It is cultivated commercially in tropical and subtropical areas for its sweet, seedy fruit. The passion fruit is a pepo, a type of berry, round to oval, either yellow or dark purple at maturity, with a soft to firm, juicy interior filled with numerous seeds. The fruit is both eaten and juiced; passion fruit juice is often added to other fruit juices to enhance aroma.
The genus name Passiflora is derived from the Latin passio meaning ‘passion’ and flos meaning ‘flower, in reference to parts of this plant seemingly representing aspects of Christ. The Passion flower symbolises spirituality. 16th Century missionaries in South America named it the passion flower because they believed it symbolised the death of Christ - the sepals and petals represented the disciples; the double row stood for the crown of thorns, and the stamens stood for the wounds.
The species name edulis is Latin and means 'edible'. It is a name that is used for a number of different plants.
The National Collection:
The National Collection of Passiflora is kept at - Lampley Road, Kingston Seymour, Clevedon, North Somerset, BS21 6XS, United Kingdom
Tel : (0044) 01934 833350. Visitors are welcome but please call before visiting to confirm the opening times.
- Additional Information
Packet Size 10 Seeds Family Passifloraceae Genus Passiflora Species edulis Cultivar Purple Giant Common Name Passionflower, Passionfruit, Granadilla Other Common Names Passion vine Hardiness Hardy Perennial Hardy Hardy to 1°C (35°F) Flowers Early Summer through to Autumn Foliage Evergreen Height 6-9m (20-30ft) in 5 to 10 years Spread 1m (3ft) Position Full sun preferred. West or South facing. Sheltered. Soil Well drained, fertile soil Notes Vine / Climber. Fruit