Edible pasiflora list -- accurate?

catsndogSeptember 21, 2008


I live in New York and grow many tropicals indoors. I have a particular passion for passiflora. An extra bonus for my daughter and I are being able to eat the fruit as well. I am sure of severl edible types but some I just can't find info on -- I understand that the edulis family is supposed to be safe to eat.

Bellow is a list of edible passiflora I found elsewhere.

P. actinia

P. alata

P. ambigua

P. antioquiensis

P. coccinea

P. laurifolia

P/ alurifolia


P. maliformis

P. manicata

p. membranacea

P. mixta

P. nitida

P. quadrangular


P. vitifolia

Could anyone here please verify/update this info Since some varieties are unsafe/hallucinogens this is an important question for me.

Thanks, Jill

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Hi Jill
I would be bit wary of P. manicata - some sources say it is fine to eat, others that it is hallucinogenic.

Here is a link that might be useful: Edible passion fruit

    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 2:14AM
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P. foetida also produces a tasty fruit but it's very small. Sublancelata is similar but not as flavorful. P. mollissima is also edible but I've never tried it.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 6:23AM
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Thank you both! I'm not going to take a chance on P. manicata; I don't own one. I do have a hefty list of ones I own that I am unsure are for consumption. Maybe I could post them up here and people could let me know?

    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 10:06AM
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Hi Jill
Don't take any chances. Even if a particular ripe fruit is safe the unripe ones are probably packed with cyanide. Not all fruit drop when ripe and some are green when ripe so it is difficult to know where you are. I have cautiously tried quite few over the years in the interests of science and some taste very grim even when ripe and may well be toxic to us. Check out the link.

Here is a link that might be useful: Passiflora toxicology

    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 12:29PM
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Even my sugar gliders won't touch the morifolia but they do like many of the others.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 2:20PM
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Thanks so much for the responses!
Well, the ones I have and were clearly advertised and sold to me as edible are:
Black Knight
McCain (where I changed the label to "Obama"
Frederick (ONLY to be eaten when falls off vine)
Passiflora miniata "Red Passion Flower"
Passiflora quadrangularis "Giant Granedilla"
Passiflora x decaisneana
Passiflora edulis 'Possum Purple'

It is the other I own that I am trying find the answers. Any comments on the ones I listed?
Thanks so much again,

    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 3:52PM
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These are the edible ones that I have from the first list you posted. I don't know about the other varieties. I'm growing some of them but they haven't bloomed and/or set fruit for me yet.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 5:10PM
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I read your comment and thought that surely there must be quick ways to test for cyanide. A quick search led to this test of water. This is not an endorsement, recommendation, etc.:


OK, there are a lot of problems, probably most important that 1)there would presumably be a lot more (potential) cyanide in passionfruit than water and 2)it comes with a ton of other components (juice) that might interfere--the kit was made for water. The fact that it would probably have to be diluted to get it to the right concentration might help relieve the second problem. Regardless, I would bet that you could use some sort of commercially available test to see if there is cyanide in some sort of juice.

The problem is that it is not cyanide itself, but cyanogenic compounds that are the problem, if I understand things correctly. So how to convert them? Is saliva enough (apparently Myles converted at least some in P. caerulea leaf by this way if you follow his link)? Acid? Anyone know? If, for example, saliva will always generate *some* cyanide from precursors if they're there, a sensitive test will find it.

This may sound all pretty silly, but say you're in the situation of having a vine with 500 fruits on it in your back yard. Do you eat them? Maybe it would be important given your financial status. Are there cheap kits that can be quickly adapted to use for this? Any analytical chemists out there?

    Bookmark   September 23, 2008 at 12:40AM
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Hi, does anyone know if P. suberosa or Corky-Stem PassionFlower is edible?

    Bookmark   October 5, 2008 at 11:01PM
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from "Passiflora: Passionflowers of the World" (Ulmer, et al.)

"Some species, such as P.capsularis, P. gracilis, P. herbertiana, P. morifolia, P. murucuja and P.suberosa develop decorative but usually inedible fruit."

Later on it says that P. suberosa has the smallest fruit--about the size of a pea.

You can read the pages of this book on Amazon or on google books, I believe.

I can't answer your question for personal experience though--haveing never grown the plant.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2008 at 1:26AM
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Hi Gardenzone
P. suberosa fruit are inedible. I have tried them. They look good enough to eat (about the size of your little finger nail) but taste pretty grim & stain your hands.
P. herbertiana fruit has a similar fig-like smell to Passiflora cinnabarina fruit, but a bit more intense. Whereas the P. cinnabarina fruit was just bland this is pretty grim, a hint of grape but a pretty overwhelming astringent aftertaste. Supposedly edible according to some sources though so may taste better when grown in fierce sun.

Here is a link that might be useful: Passiflora suberosa

    Bookmark   October 6, 2008 at 12:55PM
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Re cyanide testing. Cyanide is toxic to almost all birds and mammals with the odd exception such as the the golden bamboo lemur which apparently consumes 12 times the lethal dose of cyanide daily! Accordingly juice from a ripe passion fruit will not ever contain cyanide. Problems arise from unripe fruit which are 'designed' to be inedible till the seed are ripe. There are also a considerable range of other chemicals which will make a fruit inedible or unpalatable to any mammals or birds other than the preferred distributors of the fruit.

Here is a link that might be useful: Passiflora toxicology

    Bookmark   October 10, 2008 at 2:43PM
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I suppose my next question would be whether it's possible to determine with 100% certainty whether fruits of all species are ripe. If not, some sort of test might in principle be useful. Making a mistake 10% of the time would not be fun!

Just to correct something above--my assumption that saliva was responsible for breaking down the cyanogenic compounds appears to be wrong. Both Myles' link and a site I ran into earlier makes it clear that in this case plant enzymes released by mastication and not the saliva itself lead to the generation of cyanide.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2008 at 1:10AM
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Hi Mark
There is a very good sensible article in the link re eating wild plants and their fruit etc.
Re ripeness any fruit that has dropped is generally ripe - but of course sometimes fruit abort so unripe fruit can also drop. Also some ripe fruit do not drop. No easy answers at all. Also although it is rare something that can taste good may be toxic to us e.g. some wild mushrooms.
All I would say is never take any risks - two children died many years ago having eaten unripe Passiflora gibertii fruit.

Here is a link that might be useful: Safe to eat?

    Bookmark   October 18, 2008 at 2:45AM
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