Passion Fruit Farming in Kenya

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PASSION FRUIT

Common Name: Passion Fruit

Scientific Name: Passiflora edulis Sims

Other Names: Granadilla, purple granadilla, yellow passion fruit

INTRODUCTION

Passion fruit belongs to the family Passifloraceae that contains 500 species of Passiflora. There are two distinct forms of this species the standard purple type (P. edulis Sims), and the yellow passion fruit P. edulis f. flavicarpa Deg. The purple passion fruit originated from southern Brazil and the yellow form is of unknown origin.

Medicinal uses – the seed can be used as a sedative.

Medicinal Uses: There is currently a revival of interest in the pharmaceutical industry, especially in Europe, in the use of the glycoside, passiflorine, especially from P. incarnata L., as a sedative or tranquilizer. Italian chemists have extracted passiflorine from the air-dried leaves of P. edulis. In Madeira, the juice of passionfruits is given as a digestive stimulant and treatment for gastric cancer.

The purple passion fruit (Passiflora edulis) is the species most commonly grown for commercial purposes in Kenya. It is mainly grown for juice extraction and for the fresh market, including fresh export market to Europe, fruit salads or in beverages.

Botanical description

Passion fruit is a shallow-rooted, woody, perennial, with tendrils. It has alternate, evergreen leaves, 7.5-20 cm long. A single flower is 5-7.5 cm wide borne at each node on a new growth. The fruit is nearly round or ovoid, 4-7.5 cm wide, has a tough rind, smooth, waxy, dark-purple to light-yellow colour. The rind is 3 mm thick, with a layer of white pith and a cavity filled with membranous sacs filled with orange-colored, pulpy juice and as many as 250 small, hard, dark-brown or black, pitted seeds.

VARIETIES

The yellow passion fruit has a more…...

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