Passion Fruit! Edible?

mechelle_m(z9 TX)October 11, 2011

I have had passion vines for years and never had a fruit appear until today! Are these edible? If so, how do you know when they are ripe? I have the maypop passionvines. Lots and lots of them, but no cats. I have seen several gulf frits fluttering about and nectaring on the mexican sunflowers, but no eggs or cats.

Mechelle

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MissButterfly(Z8/9MS)

Yes, Mechelle, they're edible, if you have the patience to squeeze the pulp from the seeds. Sandy linked us to a site that listed the numerous health benefits of passion fruit, so it'd be a good idea to eat or drink some.
They're not completely ripe until they fall from the vine. They'll turn a slightly yellowish color before that happens. So, you can watch them closely and pick them when they're about to fall, so that the critters don't get them.
Sherry

    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 12:53PM
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butterflymomok(7a NE OK)

The fruit is soft and wrinkled when its ready. I really can't tell a color change, so I just let them fall before collecting them. It's hard to extract the pulp. Directions from off the internet say to boil the seed mass in a small amount of water for 5 minutes and then sieve it. I tried microwaving in a small amount of water, and got the same results. I have my MIL's old sieve that I use. It's a lot of work for such a little bit of juice/pulp.

I actually like to just eat the pulp. Just take a bite of the seed mass and suck the gelatinous pulp off of the seeds. The pulp is really sweet on the outside, and a little tart as you get to the seed. You can save the seeds to plant or discard. Some people eat the seeds as well. Tried them--they are hard and have a bit of that passionfruit flavor. Can't really say that I enjoy eating them, but have thought about putting the seeds and pulp in the blender and seeing how that turns out--especially if the seeds are considered edible.

Sandy

    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 2:59PM
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susanlynne48(OKC7a)

I think somebody said the fruit grows slowly?? But I noticed mine getting very large - size of a golf ball.

Do they normally produce seed, or this just a particularly good year for them?

Another thing I noticed the other day. I was removing the dead blooms - they pretty much just fall off into your hands - but the ones that are going to produce the fruit don't come off with a "tug" like the others. So, it appears that is one way you can tell the difference between the pollinated and unpollinated flowers.

Susan

    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 6:08PM
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MissButterfly(Z8/9MS)

Mine get as big as a large or extra-large egg from the grocery store, Susan - most are oval shaped, but a few are round. I don't think that they grow that slowly, considering how many seeds are maturing inside. Not every flower makes a fruit, but every fruit does make seeds. Of course, if caterpillars eat everything up like they did here, you won't have flowers or fruit. :-0
Sherry

    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 7:11PM
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susanlynne48(OKC7a)

Sherry - trying to get used to using that name instead of "MissSherry"........Mine are perfectly round at this point. That may change. Does anyone know if these are self-pollinating or not? It seems I began to get fruit after the Monarchs showed up and I saw them nectaring on the flowers. The vine bloomed sporadically until the fall weather set in, and then began to really produce a LOT of flowers.

I got my plant from Mail Order Natives. Sandy came over one day and said that it did not look quite like the passion vine (incarnata) that grew wild in her area, so I'm not sure if there are variations by geographic location or not, but makes me wonder. It does produce the same flowers, however, IMHO.

Without the Gulf Frits this summer, my vine grew totally out of control, consuming nearly everything in its path. Next year, I will keep it under better control. I did pull up suckers that came up everywhere, and it did not come back in those locations where I pulled it up. But, I do have nightmares about my vine from Little Shop of Horrors!

I can't wait to taste the fruit!

Susan

    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 6:08AM
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MissButterfly(Z8/9MS)

I can't remember if they're self-pollinating or not, Susan, but I know that they do make their own pollen, unlike many hybrids - they may still need an insect to move the pollen from one flower to the other. P. incarnata is known for its many variations. I ordered quite a few vines from a nursery in Tennessee, and the leaves on these vines were all more deeply lobed and thinner than the locals, and the flowers were paler, more "stringy" looking, and, in my opinion, not as pretty as our locals. All these vines eventually died out, not spreading. My locals have spread all over the place, with their thicker, greener leaves. I don't know if there are genetic differences between the vines or if it's just an adaptation to local conditions, you know, the TN vines may look real good in Tennessee, where the climate is different.
Some people like the taste of the fruit, others don't - it IS strong! :-0
Sherry

    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 10:59AM
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bananasinohio(6OH)

I love passion fruit! I always got mine from the grocery store. So, I think it is probably a different variety. Recently I went to a restaurant in NYC that makes a passion fruit pavlova. Yum! Martha Stewart got the recipe. I have always wanted to make it.
-Elisabeth

Here is a link that might be useful: Passion fruit pavlova

    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 9:21PM
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susanlynne48(OKC7a)

Mmmmmmm, that recipe looks fantastic, Elisabeth! It calls for "scooping" out the seeds, though, and I am wondering if they were using P. edulis, which is the one that is specifically grown for its fruit, rather than P. incarnata. I'll have to do some research unless somebody already knows the answer to this.

I'm going to get out this week and take some photos of my passion vine and the flowers, and if some of us have photos of theirs, we can maybe do a little comparison.

Susan

    Bookmark   October 13, 2011 at 10:20AM
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