• Black/White
  • White/Black
  • Yellow/Blue
  • Standard

Current Style: Standard

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Common names     

Passion fruit is also known as granadilla, grenadilla, maracuja, granadiglia, passiflora azzurra, fiore della passione, passionaria, pasiflora, passiflore, fleur de la passion, passiflore bleue, blaue passionsblume, pasifloro, passionera, flor de la passió, passionsblomst, grenadilo, flôr di passion, mburukuja, maracujá, fior 'd passion and passionsblomma. General names for both, yellow and purple, in Spanish are granadilla, parcha, parchita, parchita maracuya, 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 passion fruit; is called yellow lilikoi in Hawaii; golden passion fruit in Australia; parcha amarilla in Venezuela.

In the 16th century, Spanish Christian missionaries stumbled upon the Passion Flower and adopted it as a symbol of the death of Christ due to its unique morphological characteristics. Spanish colonists associated the flowers with the suffering of Christ: the corona refers to the crown of thorns, the three stigmas to the nails at the cross, … in other words: the common name refers to the passion of Christ. Thus, the English prefix "passion" derives from the passion of Christ suggested by the prominent four-branched style that appears in the flowers.


Origin and Distribution

The purple passion fruit 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 Convent Garden, London.
Some now think the yellow is a chance mutant that occurred in Australia. However, E.P, Killip, in 1983, described P. edulis in its natural range as having purple or yellow fruits.
Brazil has long had a well-established passion fruit industry with large-scale juice extraction plants. The purple passion fruit is there preferred for consuming fresh; the yellow for juice processing and the making of preserves.

The Australian taste is strongly prejudiced in favor of the purple passion fruit 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”.

India, for many years, has enjoyed a moderate harvest of purple passion fruit 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. It was quickly approved as having a more pronounced flavor than the purple and producing within a year of planting heavier and more regular crops.

Passion fruit vines are found wild and cultivated to some extend 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 passion fruit juice and pulp are exported to Australia. The Yellow passion fruit was introduced into Fiji from Hawaii 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.

Since the introduction of the Yellow passion fruit, 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, passion fruit ice cream, and other appealing products such as bottled passion fruit-and-rum cocktail. 


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Pineapple Research Station
Kerala Agricultural University
Ernakulam Kerala 686670