Unusual & Old Fashioned Fruit Trees

Passion Fruit - Purple Granadilla - Passiflora Edulis.

There are literally hundreds of varieties of Passion flowers that originate from South America where they were used by missionary Spanish priests to give the Native south American Indians lessons about the crucifixion. They did this based on the multi faceted structure of their exotic, complex, delicate and yet strangely artificial looking flowers.

Passion flower plants are not trees or even bushes, but are rampant vines that start into growth outside, for the new season, rather later than other plants. Their exotic flowers are produced randomly throughout the plant and throughout the season until the frosts take all the leaves. Whether the name “Passion Flower” has been given to these plants because their individual flowers only last about 24 hours or so, I don’t know, but it is a thought!

Many varieties of Passiflora can now be seen on sale in shops and garden centres, but the only really hardy one is “Caerulea.” Even though this is very nearly hardy a harsh, vicious winter, will take a large vine that has been growing quite happily for twenty years or more. All Passifloras sold are capable of  producing one or two inedible fruits that will have seeds in, but it is only Passiflora  Edulis – Purple Granadilla and Passiflora Quadrangularis - Giant Granadilla, that produce the edible Passion fruits. Unfortunately as these are the most delicate varieties, they will not grow outside and would need a large warm greenhouse to get big enough to produce any quantity of fruit on. On the other hand it is fun to grow plants from seeds obtained from bought fruit and this is certainly one such candidate as seeds will germinate readily. Being a vine, the growing plants, can be twined round and round a circular wire framework that has been wedged firmly into a plant pot. Indeed this is how all Passion Flower plants are normally sold when they are sold as pot plants for their bright colourful flowers.

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