From the book
Fruits of Warm Climates
by Julia F. Morton
Passiflora edulis Sims
Seasons and Harvesting
Pests and Diseases
Of the estimated 500 species of Passiflora, in the family Passifloraceae, only one, P. edulis
Sims, has the exclusive designation of passionfruit, without
qualification. Within this species, there are two distinct forms, the
standard purple, and the yellow, distinguished as P. edulis f. flavicarpa Deg., and differing not only in color but in certain other features as will be noted further on.
names for both in Spanish are granadilla, parcha, parchita, parchita
maracuyá, or ceibey (Cuba); in Portuguese, maracuja peroba; in
French, grenadille, or couzou. The purple form may be called purple,
red, or black granadilla, or, in Hawaii, lilikoi; in Jamaica, mountain
sweet cup; in Thailand, linmangkon. The yellow form is widely known as
yellow passionfruit; is called yellow lilikoi in Hawaii; golden
passionfruit in Australia; parcha amarilla in Venezuela.
Fig. 91: Purple passionfruit (Passiflora edulis)
is subtropical, important in some countries, while the more tropical
yellow passionfruit excels in others. Both yield delicious juice.
passionfruit vine is a shallow-rooted, woody, perennial, climbing by
means of tendrils. The alternate, evergreen leaves, deeply 3-lobed when
mature, are finely toothed, 3 to 8 in (7.5-20 cm) long, deep-green and
glossy above, paler and dull beneath, and, like the young stems and
tendrils, tinged with red or purple, especially in the yellow form. A
single, fragrant flower, 2 to 3 in (5-7.5 cm) wide, is borne at each
node on the new growth. The bloom, clasped by 3 large, green, leaflike
bracts, consists of 5 greenish-white sepals, 5 white petals, a
fringelike corona of straight, white-tipped rays, rich purple at the
base, also 5 stamens with large anthers, the ovary, and triple-branched
style forming a prominent central structure. The flower of the yellow
is the more showy, with more intense color. The nearly round or ovoid
fruit, 1 1/2 to 3 in (4-7.5 cm) wide, has a tough rind, smooth, waxy,
ranging in hue from dark-purple with faint, fine white specks, to
light-yellow or pumpkin-color. It is 1/8 in (3 mm) thick, adhering to a
1/4 in (6 mm) layer of white pith. Within is a cavity more or less
filled with an aromatic mass of double-walled, membranous sacs filled
with orange-colored, pulpy juice and as many as 250 small, hard,
dark-brown or black, pitted seeds. The flavor is appealing, musky,
guava-like, subacid to acid.
Origin and Distribution
purple passionfruit is native from southern Brazil through Paraguay to
northern Argentina. It has been stated that the yellow form is of
unknown origin, or perhaps native to the Amazon region of Brazil, or is
a hybrid between P. edulis and P. ligularis
(q.v.). Cytological studies have not borne out the hybrid theory.
Speculation as to Australian origin arose through the introduction of
seeds from that country into Hawaii and the mainland United States by
E.N. Reasoner in 1923. Seeds of a yellow-fruited form were sent from
Argentina to the United States Department of Agriculture in 1915
(S.P.I. No. 40852) with the explanation that the vine was grown at the
Guemes Agricultural Experiment Station from seeds taken from fruits
purchased in Covent Garden, London. Some now think the yellow is a
chance mutant that occurred in Australia. However, E.P. Killip, in
1938, described P. edulis in its natural range as having purple or
Brazil has long had a well-established
passionfruit industry with large-scale juice extraction plants. The
purple passionfruit is there preferred for consuming fresh; the yellow
for juice processing and the making of preserves.
the purple passionfruit was flourishing and partially naturalized in
coastal areas of Queensland before 1900. Its cultivation, especially on
abandoned banana plantations, attained great importance and the crop
was considered relatively disease-free and easily managed. Then, about
1943, a widespread invasion of Fusarium wilt killed the vines and
forced the undertaking of research to find fungus-resistant
substitutes. It was discovered that the neglected yellow passionfruit
is both wilt-and nematode-resistant and does not sucker from the roots.
It was adopted as a rootstock and plants propagated by grafting were
soon made available to planters in Queensland and northern New South
The Australian taste is strongly prejudiced in favor of
the purple passionfruit and growers have been reluctant to relinquish
it altogether. Only in the last few decades have they begun to adopt
hybrids of the purple and yellow which have shown some ability to
withstand the serious virus disease called "woodiness".
Zealand, in the early 1930's, had a small but thriving purple
passionfruit industry in Auckland Province but in a few years the
disease-susceptibility of this type brought about its decline. Good
local marketing and export prospects have brought about a revival of
efforts to control infestations and increase acreage, mostly in the Bay
of Plenty region. Today, fruits and juice are exported. A profitable
purple passionfruit industry has developed also in New Guinea.
Hawaii, seeds of the purple passionfruit, brought from Australia, were
first planted in 1880 and the vine came to be popular in home gardens.
It quickly became naturalized in the lower forests and, by 1930, could
be found wild on all the islands of the Hawaiian chain. In the 1940's,
a Mr. Haley attempted to market canned passionfruit juice in a small
way but the product was unsatisfactory and his effort was terminated by
World War II. A processor on Kauai produced a concentrate in glass jars
and this project, though small, proved successful. In 1951, when
Hawaiian passionfruit plantings totalled less than 5 acres (2 ha), the
University of Hawaii chose this fruit as the most promising crop for
development and undertook to create an industry based on quick-frozen
passionfruit juice concentrate. From among Mr. Haley's vines, choice
strains of yellow passionfruit were selected. These gave four times the
yield of the purple passionfruit and had a higher juice content. By
1958, 1,200 acres (486 ha) were devoted to yellow passionfruit
production and the industry was firmly established on a satisfactory
Commercial culture of purple passionfruit was
begun in Kenya in 1933 and was expanded in 1960, when the crop was also
introduced into Uganda for commercial production. In both countries,
the large plantations were devastated several times by easily-spread
diseases and pests. It became necessary to abandon them in favor of
small and isolated plantings which could be better protected.
Africa in 1947 produced 2,000 tons of purple passionfruit for domestic
consumption. Production was doubled by 1950. In 1965, passionfruit
plantations were initiated over large areas of the Transvaal to meet
the market demand and apparently there have been no serious setbacks as
yet, from disease or other causes.
India, for many years, has
enjoyed a moderate harvest of purple passionfruit in the Nilgiris in
the south and in various parts of northern India. In many areas, the
vine has run wild. The yellow form was unknown in India until just a
few decades ago when it was introduced from Ceylon and proved well
adapted to low elevations around Madras and Kerala.
quickly approved as having a more pronounced flavor than the purple and
producing within a year of planting heavier and more regular crops.
purple passionfruit was introduced into Israel from Australia early in
the 20th Century and is commonly grown in home gardens all around the
coastal plain, with small quantities being supplied to processing
Passionfruit vines are found wild and cultivated to
some extent in many other parts of the Old World–including the
highlands of Java, Sumatra, Malaya, Western Samoa, Norfolk Islands,
Cook Islands, Solomon Islands, Guam, the Philippines, the Ivory Coast,
Zimbabwe and Taiwan. From several of these sources, considerable
quantities of yellow passionfruit juice and pulp are exported to
Australia, causing some protests from Queensland growers. The yellow
passionfruit was introduced into Fiji from Hawaii in 1950, was
distributed to farmers in 1960 and became the basis of a small
juice-processing industry. Fiji has exported to Australia, New Zealand,
and Canada as well as to nearby islands.
In South America, interest
in yellow passionfruit culture intensified in Colombia and Venezuela in
the mid-1950's and in Surinam in 1975. In Colombia, there are
commercial plantations mainly in the Cauca Valley.
introduction of the yellow passionfruit from Brazil into Venezuela in
1954, it has achieved industrial status and national popularity. Much
effort is being devoted to improving the yield to better meet the
demand for the extracted juice, passionfruit ice cream, and other
appealing products such as bottled passionfruit-and-rum cocktail.
purple passionfruit was naturalized in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica by
1913, and both the purple and the yellow are planted to some extent in
Various species of Passiflora have reached the
United States Plant Introduction Station (now the Subtropical
Horticulture Research Unit) in Miami, Florida, in the routine course of
plant accession. Some vines were known to exist and bear fruit year
after year here and there in the southern and central areas of the
state since 1887 or earlier. In 1953, I requested seeds of good strains
of the purple and yellow forms from the Queensland Department of
Agriculture and Stock and gave seeds to experimenters. In 1955, one
yellow-fruited vine from these seeds was flourishing at Pinecrest and,
from the reports of hunters camping beyond that locality, it appears
that bird-transported seeds have produced fruiting vines in outlying
Everglades hammocks. In 1957, a very fruitful specimen was thriving at
the home of Benjamin Blumberg in Coconut Grove, and an escape was
bearing unusually large fruits in the treetops of a natural hammock a
few miles away.
At this time, the purple passionfruit was being
grown successfully by a homeowner further north, at Land O'Lakes, Pasco
County, and the seeds were advertised for sale. There were small
plantations of purple passionfruit in San Diego County, California, the
fruits being sold on the fresh fruit market and also processed for
juice. However, there was little interest in developing either form as
a crop in the United States. At the University of Florida's Subtropical
Experiment Station in Homestead, Florida, limited trials with the
purple and yellow forms resulted in words of discouragement, the purple
vine in particular having proved so susceptible to disease. Certain
vines at the Plant Introduction Station had died from Fusarium attack
and the survivors showed poor fruiting performance.
Knight and Harold F. Winters of the United States Department of
Agriculture prepared two reports on the pollination of the yellow
passionfruit and the problems affecting yield. They expressed a dim
view of economical juice production and the need for extensive field
studies. They offered plant material to anyone qualified to undertake
such work. The Minute Maid Company established a test plot of the
yellow form at Indiantown in 1965. They found the fruit entirely
satisfactory for processing but abandoned the project 2 years later,
stating: "The yields are not as large as in more tropical areas where
the plant remains productive all year round. Our plants went out of
production during the winter season. During the windy spring months of
March and April, the vines are badly damaged and no flowers are set
until sometime in May. We also found that the passionfruit were
expensive to harvest. The fruit has to fall on the ground and sometimes
it gets hung up in the vines. There is a continual collection of small
quantities of fruit throughout the [bearing] year * Special equipment
is needed to obtain the juice from the fruit without bits of the calyx
showing up as objectionable black specks. This equipment is costly and
can only be justified when a large volume of fruit is being processed."
1965, the Laboratorie de Recherche des Produits Nestlé, Vevey,
Switzerland, placed the passionfruit among the three
insufficiently-known tropical fruits having the greatest potential for
nectar processing for the European market. It is obvious, then, that in
spite of the handicaps of passionfruit culture, the crop offers
revenue-earning opportunities for developing countries with low labor
yellow form has a more vigorous vine and 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 purple
form has black seeds, the yellow, brown seeds.
The following are some of the older cultivars as well as some of the more recent:
'Australian Purple', or 'Nelly Kelly'–a purple selection of mild, sweet flavor, grown in Australia and Hawaii.
'Common Purple'–the form growing naturalized in Hawaii; thick-skinned, with small seed cavity, but of fine flavor and low acidity.
cross of 'Sevcik' and other yellow strains in Hawaii. A heavy bearer of
large fruits but subject to brown rot; many fruits contain little or no
pulp and the juice has the off-flavor of 'Sevcik' though not as
a natural cross between the 'Common Purple' and a yellow strain;
subject to rot, but juice is of fine color and flavor, low in acid.
golden form of the yellow selected in Hawaii; a heavy bearer, but
subject to brown rot and the juice has a peculiar woody flavor.
'University Round Selection'–Hawaiian
crosses of 'Waimanalo' and 'Yee'–fruit smaller than 'Yee'; not as
attractive but yields 10% more juice of very good flavor.
'University Selection No. B-74'–a
Hawaiian hybrid between 'Pratt' and 'C-77', usually yellow,
occasionally with red tinges; resembles 'Waimanalo'; has good juice
yield and very good flavor.
of 4 strains: 'C-54', 'C-77', 'C-80', of similar size, shape, color and
very good flavor, and 'C-39' as pollinator.
round, very attractive, highly disease-resistant, but fruit has thick
rind and low yield of juice which is of very good flavor.
What may be a great improvement over any of the above is the cultivar known as 'Noel's Special'.
It is a yellow passionfruit selected in 1968 from open-pollinated
seedlings of a vine discovered at an abandoned farm on Hilo, Hawaii, by
Noel Fujimoto in the early 1950's. The fruit is round, averages 3.17 oz
(90 g); the cavity is filled with dark-orange pulp yielding 43 to 56%
bright-orange, richly flavored juice. The vine is vigorous, begins to
bear in one year, and is tolerant to brown spot. It produces 88%
marketable fruit in a season–a higher proportion than any other
In 1967, two purple X yellow hybrids–'3-1' and
'3-26', developed at the Redlands Horticulture Research Station,
Queensland, had nearly replaced the purple passionfruit in commercial
plantations on the coast of southern Queensland and New South Wales.
They have a longer fruiting season than the purple, are high-yielding,
with high pulp content, keep very well, and meet with little market
resistance. Australian breeders continued to strive for a type that
would have the needed characteristics and reproduce true from seed.
Hybrid '23-E' followed. By 1981, hybrid '3-1' had succumbed to a new,
more virulent strain of "woodiness" virus and had to be abandoned.
Other popular hybrids are 'Lacey' and 'Purple-gold'.
early 1980, several purple passionfruit hybrids, all insect-pollinated,
were introduced into the island of Niue, as possible substitutes for
the yellow form cultivated commercially there for export since 1955,
with the view of eliminating the labor of hand-pollination required by
the yellow for top production. However, the hybrids are more
susceptible to mealybug infestation.
One New Zealand grower has exported purple passionfruits to the United States under the trade name of 'Bali Hai'.
Commercial cultivars of the purple form in Brazil include 'Ouropretano', 'Muico', 'Peroba', and 'Pintado'; of the yellow form, 'Mirim' or 'Redondo', and 'Guassu' or 'Grande'.
In the Cauca Valley of Colombia, the best-performing yellow passionfruit is the 'Hawaiiana'. Venezuelan growers favor the 'Hawaiiana', 'Brasilera amarilla', and the purple-fruited 'Brasilera rosada'.
highly promising hybrid, 'M-21471A' has been developed by Dr. R.J.
Knight at the United States Department of Agriculture's Subtropical
Horticulture Research Station, Miami. The fruit is maroon, weighs about
3 oz (85 g); is close to the purple parent in quality; is
self-compatible and resists soil-borne diseases like its yellow parent.
F1 hybrids may be reddish-purple with more conspicuous white dots than
on the purple parent, and sometimes there is a tinge of yellow in the
background. F2 hybrids show three variations of purple and are
difficult to distinguish from the purple parent.
Fig. 92: Flowers of the purple passionfruit are fragrant and lovely, though those of the yellow are richer in color.
passionfruit flowers are perfect but self-sterile. In controlled
pollination studies at the College of Agriculture of Jaboticabal, Sao
Paulo, Brazil, it was found that the yellow passionfruit has three
types of flowers according to the curvature of the style: TC (totally
curved), PC (partially curved), and SC (upright-styled). TC flowers are
Carpenter bees (Xylocopa megaxylocopa frontalis and X. neoxylocopa) efficiently pollinated TC and PC flowers. Honey bees (Apis mellifera adansonii)
were much less efficient. Wind is ineffective because of the heaviness
and stickiness of the pollen. SC flowers have fertile pollen but do not
set fruit. To assure the presence of carpenter bees, it is wise to have
decaying logs among the vines to provide nesting places. Carpenter bees
will not work the flowers if the nectary is wet. If rain occurs in 1
1/2 hrs after pollination, there will be no fruit set, but if 2 hrs
pass before rain falls, it will have no detrimental effect. In the
absence of carpenter bees in Fiji, farmers cross-pollinate by hand,
treating 600 flowers an hour, with 70% fruit set and 60% of fruit
The purple form blooms in spring and early
summer (July-November) in Queensland and again for a shorter period in
fall and early winter (February-April). In Florida, blooming occurs
from mid-March through April. The flowers open early in the morning
(about dawn) and close before noon, and are self-compatible. The yellow
form has one flowering season in Queensland (October-June). In Florida,
blooming has occurred from mid-April to mid-November. The flowers open
around noon and close about 9 to 10 PM and are self-incompatible.
crossing the yellow and purple forms, it is necessary to use the purple
as the seed parent because the flowers of the yellow are not receptive
to the pollen of the purple, and an early-blooming yellow must be
utilized in order to have a sufficient overlapping period for pollen
transfer. Dr. R.J. Knight has suggested lengthening the overlap by
exposing the yellow to artificial light for 6 weeks before the normal
flowering season. However, despite the seasonal and hourly differences,
natural hybrids between the two forms occur in South Africa, Queensland
and in Hawaii. Growers of purple passionfruit in South Africa are
warned not to take seed from any vine in proximity to a planting of
yellow passionfruit, otherwise the seedlings are apt to produce hybrid
fruit of inferior quality.
In some areas, trellis-grown vines of
the yellow passionfruit require hand-pollination to assist fruit set.
In the home garden, at least two vines of different parentage should be
planted and allowed to intertwine for cross-pollination.
purple passionfruit is subtropical. It grows and produces well between
altitudes of 2,000 and 4,000 ft (650-1,300 m) in India. In Java, it
grows well in lowlands but will flower and fruit only above 3,200 ft
(1,000 m). In west-central Florida, at 28º N latitude and slightly
above sea-level, 3-year-old vines have survived freezing temperatures
with the lower 3 ft (.9 m) of the stems wrapped in fiberglass 4 in (10
cm) thick. The upper parts suffered cold injury, were cut back, the
vines were heavily fertilized, recovered rapidly and fruited heavily
the second summer thereafter.
The yellow passionfruit is
tropical or near-tropical. In Western Samoa, it is grown from near
sea-level up to an elevation of 2,000 ft (600 m).
need protection from wind. Generally, annual rainfall should be at
least 35 in (90 cm), but in the Northern Transvaal, in South Africa,
there is reduced transpiration because of high atmospheric humidity and
commercial culture is carried on with precipitation of only 24 in (60
cm). It is reported that annual rainfall in passionfruit-growing areas
of India ranges between 40 and 100 in (100-250 cm).
vines are grown on many soil types but light to heavy sandy loams, of
medium texture are most suitable, and pH should be from 6.5 to 7.5. If
the soil is too acid, lime must be applied. Good drainage is essential
to minimize the incidence of collar rot.
Plate XLIII: YELLOW PASSIONFRUIT, Passiflora edulis var. flavicarpa
vines are usually grown from seeds. With the yellow form, seedling
variation provides cross-pollination and helps overcome the problem of
self-sterility. Some say that the fruits should be stored for a week or
two to allow them to shrivel and become perfectly ripe before seeds are
extracted. If planted soon after removal from the fruit, seeds will
germinate in 2 to 3 weeks. Cleaned and stored seeds have a lower and
slower rate of germination. Sprouting may be hastened by allowing the
pulp to ferment for a few days before separating the seeds, or by
chipping the seeds or rubbing them with fine sandpaper. Soaking, often
recommended, has not proved helpful. Seeds are planted 1/2 in (1.25 cm)
deep in beds, and seedlings may be transplanted when 10 in (25 cm)
high. If taller–up to 3 ft (.9 in)–the tops should be cut
back and the plants heavily watered.
Some growers prefer layers
or cuttings of matured wood with 3 to 4 nodes. Cuttings should be well
rooted and ready for setting out in 90 days. Rooting may be hastened by
hormone treatment. Grafting is an important means of perpetuating
hybrids and reducing nematode damage and diseases by utilizing the
resistant yellow passionfruit rootstock. If seeds are available in the
early spring, seedlings for rootstocks can be raised 4 in (10 cm) apart
in rows 24 in (60 cm) apart and the grafted plants will be ready to set
out in late summer. If seeds cannot be obtained until late summer, the
seedlings are raised and grafted in pots and set out in the spring.
Scions from healthy young vines are preferred to those from mature
plants. The diameter of the selected scion should match that of the
rootstock. Either a cleft graft, whip graft, or side-wedge graft may be
If approach-grafting is to be done, a row of potted scions
must be placed close alongside the row of rootstocks so that the union
can be made at about 3/4 of the height of the plant.
should precede transplanting of seedlings by 2 weeks. Transplanting is
best done on a cool, overcast day. The soil should be prepared and
enriched organically a month in advance if possible. Grafted vines must
be planted with the union well above ground, not covered by soil or
mulch, otherwise the disease resistance will be lost. Mounding of the
rows greatly facilitates fruit collection.
In plantations, the
vines are set at various distances, but studies in Venezuela indicate
that highest yields in yellow passionfruit are obtained when the vines
are set 10 ft (3 m) apart each way. In South Africa, purple
passionfruit vines are set 8 ft (2 1/2 m) apart in cool areas, and 12
to 15 ft (3 1/2-4 1/2 m) apart in warm areas. Spacing of purple
passionfruit in Kenya has been 10 ft (3 m) between vines and 6 ft (1.8
m) between rows. Recent 3-year trials of 4 ft (1.2 m) between rows,
with light pruning the 2nd and 3rd years, resulted in the highest yield
(50% of the crop being home the first year). But it is recognized that
such close planting can lead to disease problems and replanting after
the 3rd year.
Commercially, vines are trained to
strongly-supported wire trellises at least 7 ft (2.13 m) high. However,
for the benefit of the homeowner, it should be pointed out that the
yellow passionfruit is more productive and less subject to pests and
diseases if allowed to climb a tall tree.
After a vine of either
the yellow or purple passionfruit attains 2 years of age, pruning once
a year will stimulate new growth and consequently more flower and fruit
production. The average life of a plantation in Fiji is only 3 years.
Judicious pruning of lateral branches after fruiting aids in disease
control and can extend plantation life to 5 or 6 years. In South
Africa, at elevations between 4,000 and 4,800 ft (1,200-1,460 m),
plantations are kept in full production for as long as 8 years.
watering will keep a vine flowering and fruiting almost continuously.
Least flowers develop during the winter season due to short day length.
Water requirement is high when fruits are approaching maturity. If soil
is dry, fruits may shrivel and fall prematurely. Fertilizer (10-5-20
NPK) should be applied at the rate of 3 lbs (1.36 kg) per plant 4 times
a year, under normal conditions. In India, trials of purple
passionfruit on red sandy loam with a pH of 6.5 and high organic
content, the optimum fertilizer treatment was found to be 290 lbs (132
kg) N and 69 1/2 lbs (31.6 kg) P per ha per year.
horticulturists have reported that, in plantations on the Ivory Coast,
annual supplements of 8 oz (220 g) urea and 7 1/2 oz (210 g) potassium
sulfate per plant per year of age will have a highly favorable effect
on production. It is said that 32 to 36 oz (900-1,000 g) of nitrogen
are required to produce 66 lbs (30 kg) of fruits, but excessive
nitrogen will cause premature fruit drop. Passionfruit vines should
always be watched for deficiencies, particularly in potassium and
calcium, and of less importance, magnesium.
vine, especially the yellow, is fast-growing and will begin to bear in
1 to 3 years. Ripening occurs 70 to 80 days after pollination. Injuries
to the base of the vine, which allow entrance of disease organisms, can
be avoided by hand-weeding or the application of herbicides around the
main stems. These practices will also protect the shallow root system.
In Surinam, good weed control under trellises has been achieved by
covering the soil with black plastic.
Plate XLIV: YELLOW PASSIONFRUIT, Passiflora edulis var. flavicarpa
Seasons and Harvesting
different flowering seasons of the purple and yellow passionfruits have
been mentioned under "Pollination". In some areas, as in India, the
vines bear throughout the year but peak periods are, first, August to
December, and, second, March to May. At the latter time, the fruits are
somewhat smaller, with less juice. In Hawaii, passionfruits mature from
June through January, with heaviest crops in July and August and
October and November. With variations according to cultivar, and with
commercial cultivation both above and below the Equator, there need
never be a shortage of raw material for processing.
fall to the ground and will roll in between mounded rows. They do not
attract flies or ants but should be collected daily to avoid spoilage
from soil organisms. In South Africa, they are subject to sunburn
damage on the ground and, for that reason, are picked from the vines 2
or 3 times a week in the summertime before they are fully ripe, that
is, when they are light-purple. At this stage, they will reach the
fresh fruit market before they wrinkle. In winter, only one picking per
week is necessary. For juice processing, the fruit is allowed to attain
a deep-purple color. In India and Israel the fruits are always picked
from the vine rather than being allowed to fall. It has been found that
fallen fruits are lower in soluble solids, sugar content, acidity and
ascorbic acid content.
The fruits should be collected in lugs or
boxes, not in bags which will cause "sweating". If not sent immediately
to processing plants, the fruits should be spread out on wire racks
where there will be good air circulation.
factors influence the yield of passionfruit vines. In general, yields
of commercial plantations range from 20,000 to 35,000 lbs per acre
(roughly the same number of kg per ha). In Fiji, with hand pollination,
173 acres (70 ha) will yield 33 tons (30 MT) of fruits. Hybrids in
Australia have raised yields far beyond those obtained with the purple
On the average, a bushel of passionfruits in
Australia weighs 36 lbs (16 kg); yields 13 1/3 lbs (6 kg) of pulp from
which is obtained 1 gal (3.785 liters)–that is 10.7 lbs (4.5 kg)
of juice, and 2.6 lbs (1.18 kg) of seeds. With some strains, the juice
yield is much higher.
yellow passionfruits can be ripened and stored at 68º F (20º
C) with relative humidity of 85 to 90%. Ripening is too rapid at
86º F (30º C). Ripe fruits keep for one week at 36º to
45º F (2.22º-7.22º C). Fruits stored in unperforated,
sealed, polyethylene bags at 74º F (23.1º C), have remained
in good condition for 2 weeks. Coating with paraffin and storing at
41º to 44.6º F (5º to 7º C) and relative humidity
of 85 to 90%, has prevented wrinkling and preserved quality for 30 days.
Pests and Diseases
In Hawaii and Australia, infestations of the passion vine mite (Brevipalpus phoenicis)
occur during dry weather in the warm season, defoliate the younger
portions of the vines but not the terminus, and make brown blemishes on
the fruits. The passion vine bug (Leptoglossus australis) feeds on flowers and young, green fruits in Queensland. The green vegetable bug, or stinkbug, (Nezara viridula)
is a similar but lesser menace to the plant and young fruits. Both the
immature and the adult stages suck the sap of the growing tips, as do
the brown stinkbug (Boerias maculata), the large black stinkbug (Anoplocnemis sp.) and the small black stinkbug (Leptoglossus membranaceus).
In Florida, the yellow passionfruit is commonly found to be superficially punctured by a stinkbug (Chrondrocera laticornis), affecting only its appearance. Thrips (Thysanoptera sp.)
injure and cause stunting of young seedlings in nurseries. In dry
weather, they also feed on leaves and fruits, leaving them defaced and
prone to shrivel and fall prematurely. In East Africa, injury from the
tobacco white fly (Bemisia tabaci) may lead to galls on the leaves. Leaf beetles (Haltica sp.) and weevils (Systates spp.) chew the foliage, and cutworms behead seedlings in nurseries. Two lepidopterous pests, Dione, or Agraulis, vanillae and Mechanitis variabilis are common in Colombia.
Among scales attacking the vine and petioles, white peach scale (Pseudaulacaspis pentagona) is most troublesome in Queensland. Not as prevalent are round purple scale (Chrysomphalus ficus) and granadilla purple scale (Parasaissetia nigra). These pests may cause dieback of the entire plant if not controlled. Red scale (Aonidiella aurantii) is common on mature passion vines in Queensland. Soft brown scale (Coccus hesperidum) is occasionally troublesome. The passion vine leaf hopper (Scolypopa australis) requires protective measures. The citrus mealybug (Planococcus citri) is a major Queensland pest in summer. Spraying, unfortunately, kills its chief predator, the mealybug ladybird, Cryptolaemus montrouzieri. The aphids, Aphis gossypii and Myzus Persicae, transmit the virus which causes "woodiness" (see below).
There has been no report of attack by the Caribbean fruit fly (Anastrepha suspensa) in Florida, though Anastrepha
infestation was on one occasion observed by Curtis Dowling in Passflora
fruits in Costa Rica. In Brazil, fruit flies of the genus Anastrepha,
and in Hawaii the Oriental fruit fly and the melon fly, deposit eggs in
the very young, tender fruits. In these, the larvae seem able to
develop and cause the immature fruits to shrivel and fall. If fruits
are punctured when nearly mature, the only effect is an external scar.
The same is reported concerning the dominant Queensland fruit fly (Dacus tryoni) and the less common Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata) in Australia.
South Africa, purple passionfruit vines are damaged by several species
of nematodes. The most important, which causes extreme thickening of
the roots, is the root-knot nematode, Meloidogyne javanica. Others include the spiral nematode (Scutellonema truncatum and Helicotylenchus sp.), and the lesion nematode (Pratylenchus sp.). The yellow passionfruit is nematode-resistant.
The main diseases of purple passion fruit in Australia are brown spot, Septoria spot and base rot, Phytophthora blight, Fusarium wilt, woodiness, and damping-off. Brown spot, caused by Alternaria passiflorae
in warm weather, is a major affliction of the purple passionfruit also
in New Zealand and East Africa. In Hawaii, brown spot is the leading
disease of the yellow passionfruit and A. tenuis was found to be the dominant species associated with the disease in 1969. A. macrospora
has occasioned severe leaf spot and branch lesions in India. A similar
disease causing spotting and crinkling of leaves and fruit first
appeared in Ceylon in 1970. Septoria spot, from the fungus Septoria passiflorae,
most common in summer and fall, is evidenced by more numerous and
smaller spots than brown spot, on all parts of the vine and on the
fruits, and it is spread by rain, dew and overhead irrigation. Some
believe this fungus to be also the source of base rot, often induced by
injury from mowers or other mechanical equipment.
Phytophthora cinnamoni, the source of collar rot in Fiji, makes it necessary to replace yellow passionfruit plantings there every 30 to 35 months. P. nicotinae var. parasitica
has been linked to fatal blight, or stem rot, and fruit rot in purple
passionfruit vine, but not in the yellow, in wet periods of summer and
fall in Queensland and South Africa. P. cinnamoni and P. nicotinae
are responsible for root rot in New Zealand and Western Australia, and
the latter is identified with wilt in South Africa and Sarawak, and
with damping-off and leaf blight in both the purple and the yellow
passionfruits in India.
Fusarium wilt, arising from the soil-borne fungus, Fusarium oxysporium f. sp. passiflorae, can be reduced only by grafting the purple, or, better still, purple-yellow hybrids, onto the Fusarium-resistant yellow passionfruit rootstock. However, Bedoya et al.
have reported that, in the zones of Palmira, Cerrito and Ginebra of the
Cauca Valley of Colombia, but not in the zone of Unión, collar
rot limits the life of yellow passionfruit plantations to 3 years, and
they found, in inoculation experiments, that Fusarium solani
produced the symptoms. The first signs are chlorosis, necrosis and
defoliation; next there is splitting of the trunk and separation of the
bark. The root becomes progressively discolored and red rays extend to
the surface of the soil.
Nectria haematococca, or Hypomyces solani, the ascogenous state of Fusarium solani,
has been determined to be the organism girdling the collar zone and
bringing on sudden wilt of the purple passionfruit vine in Uganda.
virus disease, "woodiness", or "bullet", appearing as small misshapen
fruits with thick rind and small pulp cavity, has been the most serious
plague of the purple passionfruit in Australia and East Africa, but it
has little effect on the yellow form. The "woodiness" virus (PWV) is
also the source of tip blight in the coastal districts of central
Queensland. This virus has a wide host range, not only in the genus
Passiflora, but also weedy species in the families Amaranthaceae,
Chenopodiaceae, Cucurbitaceae and Solanaceae.
There are a number
of different strains of the "woodiness" virus. For many years,
inoculation of passionfruit vines with mild strains protected them from
further infection, and commercial hybrids containing small doses of
mild strains were released to farmers. But, in 1978, a new, more
virulent, strain of virus appeared and overcame the "mild strain
protection". The New South Wales Passionfruit Growers Association, in
response to this new threat, established, in 1979, a Passionfruit Scion
Accreditation Scheme to "improve the quality of planting material by
field selection and provide scionwood free of the severe strain of
woodiness virus", for a standard fee. Generally, 100 scions can be
taken from each accredited vine in a season. By 1981, 16,000 scions had
been supplied to commercial growers.
In 1973, two mosaic viruses–PPMV-K and PFMVMY–said to differ from other reported Passiflora
viruses, were found to be prevalent in commercial plantings of the
yellow passionfruit in the Bantung district of Selangor, Malaya.
Damping-off is caused by Rhizoctonia solani and Pythium
spp. in Queensland. Thread blight of yellow passionfruit vine in Fiji
and Western Samoa, seen as patches of black, papery, shredded leaves
with gray to tan layer of merged "threads" beneath, has been attributed
to Rhizoctonia solani (also called Thanatephorus cucumeris). It may invade the entire vine.
fruit is of easy preparation. One needs only cut it in half lengthwise
and scoop out the seedy pulp with a spoon. For home use, Australians do
not trouble to remove the seeds but eat the pulp with cream and sugar
or use it in fruit salads or in beverages, seeds and all. Elsewhere it
is usually squeezed through two thicknesses of cheesecloth or pressed
through a strainer to remove the seeds. Mechanical extractors are, of
course, used industrially. The resulting rich juice, which has been
called a natural concentrate, can be sweetened and diluted with water
or other juices (especially orange or pineapple), to make cold drinks.
In South Africa, passionfruit juice is blended with milk and an
alginate; in Australia the pulp is added to yogurt. After primary juice
extraction, some processors employ an enzymatic process to obtain
supplementary "secondary" juice from the double juice sacs surrounding
each seed. The high starch content of the juice gives it exceptional
viscosity. To produce a freeflowing concentrate, it is desirable to
remove the starch by centrifugal separation in the processing operation.
juice can be boiled down to a sirup which is used in making sauce,
gelatin desserts, candy, ice cream, sherbet, cake icing, cake filling,
meringue or chiffon pie, cold fruit soup, or in cocktails. The seeded
pulp is made into jelly or is combined with pineapple or tomato in
making jam. The flavor of passionfruit juice is impaired by heat
preservation unless it is done by agitated or "spin" pasteurization in
the can. The frozen juice can be kept without deterioration for 1 year
at 0º F (-17.78º C) and is a very appealing product. The
juice can also be "vacuum-puff" dried or freeze-dried. Swiss processors
have marketed a passionfruit-based soft drink called "Passaia" for a
number of years in Western Europe. Costa Rica produces a wine sold as
Food Value Per 100 g of Edible Portion (Purple passionfruit, pulp and seeds)*
|Fat ||0.7 g|
|Iron ||1.6 mg|
|Vitamin A||700 I.U.|
|Ascorbic Acid||30 mg|
*According to U.S. Dept. Agr., ARS.
yellow passionfruit has somewhat less ascorbic acid than the purple but
is richer in total acid (mainly citric) and in carotene content. It is
an excellent source of niacin and a good source of riboflavin. Free
amino acids in purple passionfruit juice are: arginine, aspartic acid,
glycine, leucine, lysine, proline, threonine, tyrosine and valine.
Carotenoids in the purple form constitute 1.160%; in the yellow,
0.058%; flavonoids in the purple, 1.060%; in the yellow, 1.000%;
alkaloids in the purple, 0.012%; in the yellow, 0.700% (mainly harman),
and the juice is slightly sedative. Starch content of purple
passionfruit juice is 0.74%; of the yellow, 0.06%.
cyanogenic glycoside is found in the pulp of passionfruits at all
stages of development, but is highest in very young, unripe fruits and
lowest in fallen, wrinkled fruits, the level in the latter being so low
that it is of no toxicological significance.
Commercial processing of the yellow passionfruit yields 36% juice, 51% rinds, and 11% seeds.
The rinds have a very low pectin content–only 2.4% (14% on a dry
weight basis). Nevertheless, it has been determined in Fiji that
extraction of pectin from the rinds–up to 5 tons (4.5 MT)
annually–reduces the otherwise burdensome problem of waste
disposal. The rind residue contains about 5 to 6% protein and could be
used as a filler in poultry and stock feed. In Brazil, pectin is
extracted from the purple form which has a better quality pectin than
that in the yellow. In Hawaii, the pectin is not extracted. Instead,
the rinds are chopped, dried, and combined with molasses as cattle or
pig feed. They can also be converted into silage.
The seeds yield 23% oil which is similar to sunflower and soybean oil
and accordingly has edible as well as industrial uses. Up to 3,400
gallons (13,000 liters) can be obtained per year in Fiji. The seed meal
contains about 12% protein and 50 to 55% fiber. It has been judged
unsuitable for cattle feed.
Analyses of the fresh rind show:
moisture, 78.43-85.24%; crude protein, 2.04-2.84%; fat, 0.05-0.16%;
crude starch, 0.75-1.36%; sugars (sucrose, glucose, fructose), 1.64%;
crude fiber, 4.57-7.13%; phosphorus, 0.03-0.06%; silica, 0.01-0.04%;
potassium, 0.60-0.78 %; organic acids (citric and malic), 0.15%;
ascorbic acid, 78.3-166.2%. The outer skin of the purple form contains
1.4 mg per 100 g of the anthocyanin pigment, pelargonidin
3-diglucoside. There is also some tannin.
The composition of the
air-dried seeds is reported as: moisture, 5.4%; fat, 23.8%; crude
fiber, 53.7%; protein, 11.1%; N-free extract, 5.1%; total ash, 1.84%;
ash insoluble in HC1, 0.35%; calcium, 80 mg; iron, 18 mg; phosphorus,
640 mg per 100 g.
The seed oil contains 8.90% saturated fatty
acids; 84.09% unsaturated fatty acids. The fatty acids consist of:
palmitic, 6.78%; stearic, 1.76%; arachidic, 0.34%; oleic, 19.0%;
linoleic, 59.9%; linolenic, 5.4%.
Medicinal Uses: There is currently a revival of interest in the pharmaceutical industry, especially in Europe, in the use of the glycoside, passiflorine, especially from P. incarnata L., as a sedative or tranquilizer. Italian chemists have extracted passiflorine from the air-dried leaves of P. edulis.
Madeira, the juice of passionfruits is given as a digestive stimulant
and treatment for gastric cancer.
Last updated: 8/20/116 by ch