Botany

Passion fruit, a close relative to violets, is botanically part of the Passifloraceae family. There are more than 500 species in this family and more than 50 of them are edible. Of all, only the purple passion fruit and the yellow passion fruit are grown commercially. The purple is grown only in small quantities and is the variety that is sold as fresh fruit. The main variety for producing juice and juice concentrate is the yellow variety...Passiflora edulis, f. flavicarpa.

Passion fruit is generally grown from seeds. While cuttings can be made, they are prone to carrying diseases so the seed method is preferred. Passion fruit flowers are cross-pollinated most effectively by carpenter bees and many passion fruit plantations have decaying logs placed among the vines to provide nesting spots for bees. Cross-pollination encourages a greater variety of offspring with better resistance to disease, higher tolerance for climatic variations, and enhanced seed production.

Passion fruit requires a mild climate free from extremes of heat and cold and plenty of rain. Fruiting is poor in regions with very warm climates. Similarly, extreme cold and frost conditions can damage vines permanently.

 

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