Food Forests, Food Plants - Perennial — by Penny Kothe October 24, 2012
This passionfruit was growing in a family vegetable garden setting in Coonamble (western NSW, Australia), in a hot and dry climate with low rainfall, but the garden beds were irrigated by creek water. The vine is growing over a farm fence which has three horizontal wires. Surrounding the vine in the understorey is sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) which has provided a good green mulch and soil cultivator for the surrounding area. The images are taken at the end of Autumn and the crop looks to be coming along nicely.
Plant family: Passifloraceae
Common name: Passion Fruit, Passionfruit, Purple Granadilla.
How and where to plant it: Full sun against a trellis or structure where there are no competing roots. Iron, in the form of chook manure around the roots, is beneficial to establishment. Well-drained soil. Mulch around the root system to stop it drying out.
Height: 2 metres
Width/Spacing: 3 metres
Flowers: Fruits 18 months from planting preceded by white/purple and yellow ‘passion’ flowers comprised of supportive bracts, 2.5cm petals and corona 1.5cm long.
Scents: Flesh of the fruit has a sweet aroma and taste.
Animal Attraction: Fruits attract rats and white cockatoos.
Hardiness: Frost sensitive
Appearance: Evergreen vine with curly tendrils. Fruit is round/oval (obovoid) 4-5cm diameter and generally dark purple when ripe. Leaf blades 3-lobed with 2-5cm petioles. Leaf margins toothed. Stipules linear.
Uses: Edible flesh of the fruit eaten uncooked, juiced or decorative. Wine, juice, jams, decoration. May reduce blood pressure. High in vitamin C
Culture: Vigorous climber with strong spring-like tendrils that grip onto structures. Prune the tips when growing to promote lateral growth. Requires good watering.
Pest and disease: Scale, collar-rot.
Maintenance: Prune in later winter or early spring by about 30 centimetres. Fertilise with chicken manure every 6 months.
Harvest and post harvest: Harvest when fruit turns purple and outside can be pushed in. Generally used uncooked and can be stored in a cool place.
Origin: South America