Passionfruit (Passiflora edulis)

Passionfruit - Granadilla
As wonderful as passionfruit is both from an aesthetic and culinary point of view, it does not, as some sources will tell you, offer sedative and anxiety reducing effects.

Passionfruit, also known as Granadilla, is a delicious fruit to grow in your organic garden. It is native to subtropical wild regions of South America and probably originated in Paraguay. Botanically the purple passionfruit that you know and love belongs to the family of Passifloraceae, and has the species name Passi flora edulis.
There are a some golden or yellow varieties of passionfruit available these days that go by the botanical name Passiflora edulis flavicarpa (Panama Gold passionfruit). Just to confuse the issue further there are also some purple varieties of the P. edulis flavicarpa (known as Panama Red) that are now available. The two latter varieties are favored by some people as they produce larger and juicier fruit than the traditional passionfruit.
The passionfruit plant is an avid climber that grows on anything it can get its tendrils through and around. Passionfruit grow upwards so you get lots of fruit for little space and in hot areas you can even grow them up trees. They also grow in large pots on a balcony.
Passionfruit - Granadilla
Your healing passionfruit
Perhaps the greatest gift that passionfruit has to give you is its taste but that does not mean that it is without nutritional value. Around 100 grams of passionfruit pulp contains about 400 kilojoules and is also a rich source of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and fiber.
Passionfruit is a good fibre source, with 100 grams of frut pulp providing around 10 grams of fiber. Fiber in your diet helps balance cholesterol as well as acting as a bulk laxative. Passionfruit is also a good source of vitamin C. providing about 30mg per 100g. It is not a massive dose but certainly a useful one and as well as all the actions of vitamin C for immunity there is another benefit as well. Vitamin C helps with the absorption of iron and this is especially relevant since passionfruit also contains iron.
Passionfruit also contains vitamin A at around 1274IU per 10Og. Both vitamin A and vitamin C are antioxidants and the antioxidant effects of passionfruit are boosted even further by the flavonoids beta-carotene and cryptoxanthin- beta. As well as being antioxidants, these flavonoids, along with vitamin A, are useful insupporting good eyesight.
Potassium is an important mineral for many functions throughout your body, including muscle function, and 100 grams of passionfruit pulp contains about 348mg of potassium. Potassium is an important component of cells and body fluids, and helps to regulate heart rate and blood pressure.
Passionfruit is also a good source of copper, magnesium, and phosphorus.

Don’t be fooled
As wonderful as passionfruit is both from an aesthetic and culinary point of view, it does not, as some sources will tell you. Offer sedative and anxiety reducing effects.
What these sources are doing is confusing the plant that is widely used in herbal medicine for these purposes and which is known as Passion Flower. The botanical name for Passion Flower is Passiflora incarnata, so it is certainly of the same family but the fruits of Passion Flower (also known as Maypop)are yellowish to orange and about the size of a chicken's egg.
While the use of the leaves of Passion Flower to make a tea to reduce anxiety and improve sleep goes back to Aztec times there is no evidence that passionfruit offers any of these benefits.
Grow Your Passionfruit
When to plant: Plant vines from early From September to December. After the frosts have passed in cooler regions.
Climate: PassionFruits grow throughout Australia. Check at your local nursery to find the best variety for your area.
Aspect/placement: Likes Full sun and plenty of room. Frost sensitive.
Specific needs: Grow your passionfruit vine on a structure, such as a trellis. Likes well-drained soil, but not wet Feet. Keep the water up to your vine, particularly during Fruiting periods and when it's dry. Vigorous growers, so keep in check with regular pruning of the old. Woody growth in late winter, early spring. This will encourage new growth and flowers. Passionfruit are heavy Feeders so add plenty of composted chook manure twice a year in autumn and spring. Mulch around the roots with pea straw to protect From the sun. Some passionfruits are grown as grafted plants, so remove suckers that grow From beneath the graft.
Harvesting: Vines usually crop within at least 18 months of planting in cooler temperate zones, but in hot and subtropical climates expect Fruit within six to eight months. Fruit drops when ripe, taste it, or watch For when it changes color usually From green to black.

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