The Passion Fruit Varieties in Australia

The main types of passion fruit that you can grow in Australia include the following:-

  • Mysty Gems
  • Sweethearts
  • Panamas
  • Nelly Kellie

Panama Red Variety

One of the commonest passionfruit varieties is the Panama Red. This is a hybrid passionfruit variety that is also quite vigorous. It has a large attractive red skin and produces large fruits. The Panama Red variety will crop heavily from Autumn to Spring.

Panama Red Passionfruit
Panama Red Passionfruit

Plant Characteristics for the Panama Red Passionfruit Variety

  • Preferred Climate: Tropical and Subtropical.
  • Water Requirements: Moderate watering
  • Preferred Soil Type: Soil with good drainage.
  • Sun or Shade: Needs full sun, 80% to 100%.
  • Soil PH: Neutral PH requirement of 6.6 to 7.3pH
  • Pollination required: Needs two compatible plants
  • Time to fruit, flower or harvest: Requires 2 to 3 years.
  • Maximum plant height: 2 to 5 metres

Panama Gold Passionfruit Variety

The Panama Gold passionfruit variety will produce a lush green foliage that can cover up to square metres in one year. The Panama Gold passionfruit varieties are generally super large, are golden in colour and have a soft skinned juicy fruit with an aromatic pulp. The Panama Gold passionfruit varieties are generally sweeter than other the black passionfruit varieties. They will produce a hundred fruit in a single season. The Panama Gold passionfruit variety should be planted in a sunny and well-drained area. They will begin flowering in spring and you can begin harvesting the fruit right from summer until autumn.

Panama Gold Passion Fruit Variety
Panama Gold Passion Fruit Variety

The Panama Gold passion fruit variety does well in warmer and frost-free growing areas. The Panama Gold fruits can be round to oval . At maturity, they are yellow in colour and have a soft and firm juicy interior that contains numerous seeds. The Panama Gold passion fruit can be eaten or juiced. It can also be mixed with other fruit juices so as to enhance the aroma.

The Best Varieties to Plant in India

Passion fruits are yellow-pulped fruits that have originated from the Amazon. These fruits have always been people’s favorite since all passion fruits varieties are rich in Vitamin A and have a sweet, juicy fragrance. Throughout the world, Brazil grows the most varieties, specifically more than half, of the worlds passion fruits (although some varieties also grow in selected parts of South America).

Large Scale Passion Fruit Farming
Large Scale Passion Fruit Farming

India produces the most number of fruits and other agricultural products like apples, oranges, bananas and a lot more. In fact, India is one of the largest producers of fruits globally. The country is usually referred to as the Fruit Basket of the World which makes India’s agriculture still a  great part of India’s economy. However, there used to be no passion fruit grown in India but the government began growing passion fruits in Indian forests many years back. Thus began the practice of passion fruit cultivation across the subcontinent.

Below is a list of the best passion fruit varieties to plant in India:

There are two major types of passion fruits grown in India, the yellow and the purple passion fruits. The yellow passion fruit comes with more vines and has bigger fruits as compared to the purple ones. The purple passion fruit, on the other hand, tends produce more juice and is less acidic than the yellow passion fruit. Both are good varieties and are suitable to India’s soil and climate.

A great variety of passion fruit grown in India is the Noel’s Special, named after the person who cultivated it, Noel Fujimoto. This variety is a yellow variety that was discovered in Hawaii in the 1950’s. This vine produces round fruits that can produce a good amount of juice. Among the many varieties of passion fruits, Noel’s Special is one of the first choices especially by fruit cultivators and sellers because of its availability and marketability especially during its season.

Kaveri is also a good variety of passion fruit grown in India. It is a hybrid of the yellow and purple varieties. This is a common choice among cultivators because of its excellent resistance to rotting and spot diseases. It is good for the subtropical climate of India.

There is also a variety called the Kapoho Selection which originated in Hawaii. It is a cross breed of Sevcik (another passion fruit variety) and some other yellow passion fruits. Its vine can produce and carry heavy and large fruits. However, it is not as juicy as the other varieties and is vulnerable to pests and diseases.

Then there’s the passion fruit variety called the Yee Selection. It comes with attractive, yellow fruits and produces juice with a very good flavor.

Lastly is the variety known as Common Purple. This variety originally grew in Hawaii. This variety is characterized by a thick skin but is easier to consume because of its small seeds.

There are many more passion fruit varieties and a few new varieties are still being cultivated. Passion fruits are healthy fruits and are good for juice recipes.

In an Indian setting, passion fruits are best planted during the monsoon season. Generally, the soil and climate in India have proven to be suitable as far as the growth of passion fruits is concerned. Apart from choosing the best varieties, it is important not to forget about the best husbandry techniques that will yield a great harvest.

Panama Red Passion Fruit Variety

Just like the Panama Gold, the Panama Red passion fruit is also a very vigorous vine known for its attractive red skin and succulent yellow flesh. This kind of passion fruit is self-pollinating so you will not have to worry too much about manual pollination using a brush in case the fruits fail to develop in time.

Panama Red Passionfruit Harvest
Panama Red Passion fruit Harvest

The Panama Red passion fruit is generally a very hardy variety and will do well in warmer conditions as well as a host of other conditions. It is best to plant these in a west-facing wall which has rich soils along with a well aerated trellis. You will need to add plenty of water during the growing months along with mulch around the roots in order to keep the soils moist.

For fertilizers, you can use chook manure or well balanced slow-release fertilizer at least twice a year. The Panama Red passion fruit vines will begin producing the fruits by the second year and a single vine can produce up to 300 fruits at optimal production. They vines will bear large beautiful red flowers at the ends of their stalk. Once they begin producing the fruits, the passion fruites can ripen  throughout the year, giving you an all-year supply of fresh passion fruit. In colder areas, the Panama Red passion fruit will generally defoliate or die. However, it will thrive in the warmer areas that meet the minimum planting requirements.

Panama Red Passionfruit
Panama Red Passion fruit

Like the Panama Gold passion fruit, the Panama Red passion fruit is highly decorative and is best planted in a place where you can flaunt it or where you would wish to highlight a certain area in your landscape. The fruits from the Panama Red passion fruit are larger, sweet and aromatic.

The Panama Red passionfruit is known for its lush green foliage, just like its Panama Gold counterpart but the difference is that it does better in the warmer climates. Once it matures, it will give an abundance of red skinned passion fruit. These fruits are larger and juicer and, as you will notice, they are also generally quite sweet! They are sweeter than many of the other traditional passion fruit varieties. They also emit a very sweet fragrance!

The fruit for the Panama Red passion fruit will be ready 6 months after planting and you will continue harvesting the fruits throughout the year. The best condition for growing the Panama Red is warmer climate and make sure that you have planted them in a sunny position. They should be planted next to an upright structure such as a fence or trellis.

Growing Panama Red Passion fruit

As already stated, the Panama Red passion fruit will do best in warm weather and in a sunny position as well as a protected position. Like the Panama Gold passion fruit, it will also need at least 7 hours of sunshine.  The plant will need good watering. The soil should be moist but not flooded or wet.

Finally, just like in all passion fruit plants, make sure that you have provided good structure or support for the passion fruit plant.

The Types of Passion Fruit Varieties to Plant in Kenya

When it comes to passion fruit farming in Kenya, you probably have one of the widest array of passion fruit varieties that you can choose from. The Kenyan passion fruit farming market is highly developed s farmers have much choice. The main varieties of passion fruits that you can grow in Kenya include the purple passion fruit, the yellow passion fruit, sweet passion fruit, giant passion fruit and banana passion fruit.

Here is a description of the main passion fruit varieties that you would find in Kenya:-

The Purple Passion Fruit Variety

This is the most common passion fruit variety in Kenya. It is mainly used in the local fruit industry in Kenya and a large part of it is also exported to various foreign markets, particularly in the Middle East.

Purple Passion Fruit Variety
Purple Passion Fruit Variety

The purple passion fruit variety will do well in cooler climates with an elevation of between 1200m to 1800m towards the east of the Rift Valley and an elevation of 2000m to the west of the Great Rift Valley. The shape of the purple passion fruit can either be round or oval and when ripe, it will change its colour from light green to purple. Once the fruits are ripe, they will drop off from the passion fruit vines. For processing, it can be canned, frozen or processed into passion fruit juice.

Yellow Passion Fruit Variety

The yellow passion fruit variety is the latest craze in Kenya among passionate passion fruit farmers. It is a more vigorous passion fruit variety and is widely planted in the tropical lowlands where it does quite well compared to the purple passion fruit varieties. It has a very aromatic pulp although it tends to be more acidic than the purple passion fruit pulp.

Yellow Passion Fruit Variety
Yellow Passion Fruit Variety

The average fruit from the yellow passion fruit variety is also larger than the purple passion fruit varieties and will turn from green colour to yellow when it is ripe. Once ripen, the fruits will drop from the vines. The yellow passion fruit variety is generally used mainly as a rootstock onto which the purple passion fruit variety will be grafted. This is because the yellow passion fruit variety has better resistance against the many soil-borne pathogens.

Sweet Passion Fruit or Sweet Granadilla Variety in Kenya

The sweet passion is ideal for cooler climates with elevations of over 1500m. These are the optimal conditions under which you would get great yield from your passion fruit plants. It has great flavour and when ripen, it will change colour from blue to orange-brown. The aromatic pulp has a whitish colour and is enclosed by a hard shell so you can transport it easily without damage.

Giant Passion Fruit Variety in Kenya

The banana passion fruit variety is better suited for elevations of above 1700m and in a tropical environment. It is a vigorous vine and will grow to lengths of up to 30m and when ripen, the fruits will change colour from green to yellow. The fruits should be eaten fresh. It is not a commercial variety.

The Banana Fashion Fruit Variety

The banana variety is better suited for cooler conditions and higher elevations of over 1500m above sea level. It is not a commercial variety.

Banana Passion Fruit Variety
Banana Passion Fruit Variety

Difference Between Yellow Passion Fruit and Purple

Panama Gold Passion Fruit Variety

The yellow passion fruits are in high demand both locally and globally. Some of the biggest markets for yellow passion fruits are the EU and the Middle East. However, in spite of the high current demand, production of yellow passion fruits still remains low and this is usually due to the limited access that many farmers have to high quality passion fruit planting materials. The yellow passion fruit orchards also have a shorter lifespan compared to the purple passion fruit varieties as a result of the woodiness viral disease and poor agronomic practices by passion fruit farmers.

In locations with good rainy seasons, it is generally advisable to plant the yellow passion fruit varieties. The varieties to be planted generally vary from country to country. In Uganda, the best yellow passion fruit varieties to plant include the KPF4, KPF11, KPF11 and the KPF12 yellow passion fruit varieties. The KPF4 variety of yellow passion fruits generally has light green leaves and vines as well as oval fruits and a pulp that is deep yellow in colour. On the other hand, the KPF12 variety has darker green leaves and vines, rounder fruits and heavy flowering and fruiting. The KPF12 yellow passion fruit variety grown in Uganda also produces round fruits.

Climate

The purple passion fruit is subtropical. It grows and produces well between altitudes of 2,000 and 4,000 ft (650-1,300 m) in India.

In Java, it grows well in lowlands but will flower and fruit only above 3,200 ft (1,000 m).

In west-central Florida, at 28º N latitude and slightly above sea-level, 3-year-old vines have survived freezing temperatures with the lower 3 ft (.9 m) of the stems wrapped in fiberglass 4 in (10 cm) thick. The upper parts suffered cold injury, were cut back, the vines were heavily fertilized, recovered rapidly and fruited heavily the second summer thereafter.

The yellow passion fruit is tropical or near-tropical. In Western Samoa, it is grown from near sea-level up to an elevation of 2,000 ft (600 m).

Yellow passion fruits do really well in the lowlands and mid-altitude locations. They are also growing increasingly popular due to their delicious juices and flavor.

Both forms need protection from wind. Generally, annual rainfall should be at least 35 in (90 cm), but in the Northern Transvaal, in South Africa, there is reduced transpiration because of high atmospheric humidity and commercial culture is carried on with precipitation of only 24 in (60 cm). It is reported that annual rainfall in passion fruit-growing areas of India ranges between 40 and 100 in (100-250 cm).

Characteristics of Yellow passion

  • Has a large fruit with a yellow rind
  • Has a more acid flavor
  • It’s resistant to Fusarium wilt and nematodes
  • It has brown seeds
  • It has a more vigorous vine and more tolerant to frost
  • The flowers are self-sterile with heavy and sticky pollen and hence wind pollination is ineffective. Since their pollen is sticky and the flowers have to be pollinated, bees are the most effective pollinators.

Characteristics of purple passion

  • Has a smaller fruit with a purple rind
  • Has a less acidic flavor, a sweet pulp, and a higher juice proportion
  • It has black seeds
  • Has a less vigorous vine
  • It can self-pollinate and has light pollen. Pollination is, however, best under humid conditions.

When crossing purple and yellow passion, it is important to use the purple parent as the seed parent since the flowers of yellow passion are not receptive to pollen from the purple passion variety. Crossing the yellow and purple passion enables the plant to withstand the woodiness virus.

Pollination

Yellow passionfruit flowers are perfect but self-sterile. In controlled pollination studies at the College of Agriculture of Jaboticabal, Sao Paulo, Brazil, it was found that the yellow passionfruit has three types of flowers according to the curvature of the style: TC (totally curved), PC (partially curved), and SC (upright-styled). TC flowers are most prevalent. Carpenter bees (Xylocopa megaxylocopa frontalis and X. neoxylocopa) efficiently pollinated TC and PC flowers. Honey bees (Apis mellifera adansonii) were much less efficient. Wind is ineffective because of the heaviness and stickiness of the pollen. SC flowers have fertile pollen but do not set fruit. To assure the presence of carpenter bees, it is wise to have decaying logs among the vines to provide nesting places. Carpenter bees will not work the flowers if the nectary is wet. If rain occurs in 1 1/2 hrs after pollination, there will be no fruit set, but if 2 hrs pass before rain falls, it will have no detrimental effect. In the absence of carpenter bees in Fiji, farmers cross-pollinate by hand, treating 600 flowers an hour, with 70% fruit set and 60% of fruit reaching maturity.

The purple form blooms in spring and early summer (July-November) in Queensland and again for a shorter period in fall and early winter (February-April). In Florida, blooming occurs from mid-March through April. The flowers open early in the morning (about dawn) and close before noon, and are self-compatible. The yellow form has one flowering season in Queensland (October-June). In Florida, blooming has occurred from mid-April to mid-November. The flowers open around noon and close about 9 to 10 PM and are self-incompatible.

In crossing the yellow and purple forms, it is necessary to use the purple as the seed parent because the flowers of the yellow are not receptive to the pollen of the purple, and an early-blooming yellow must be utilized in order to have a sufficient overlapping period for pollen transfer. Dr. R.J. Knight has suggested lengthening the overlap by exposing the yellow to artificial light for 6 weeks before the normal flowering season. However, despite the seasonal and hourly differences, natural hybrids between the two forms occur in South Africa, Queensland and in Hawaii. Growers of purple passion fruit in South Africa are warned not to take seed from any vine in proximity to a planting of yellow passion fruit, otherwise the seedlings are apt to produce hybrid fruit of inferior quality.

In some areas, trellis-grown vines of the yellow passion fruit require hand-pollination to assist fruit set. In the home garden, at least two vines of different parentage should be planted and allowed to intertwine for cross-pollination.

propagation

Passion fruit vines are usually grown from seeds. With the yellow form, seedling variation provides cross-pollination and helps overcome the problem of self-sterility. Some say that the fruits should be stored for a week or two to allow them to shrivel and become perfectly ripe before seeds are extracted. If planted soon after removal from the fruit, seeds will germinate in 2 to 3 weeks. Cleaned and stored seeds have a lower and slower rate of germination. Sprouting may be hastened by allowing the pulp to ferment for a few days before separating the seeds, or by chipping the seeds or rubbing them with fine sandpaper. Soaking, often recommended, has not proved helpful. Seeds are planted 1/2 in (1.25 cm) deep in beds, and seedlings may be transplanted when 10 in (25 cm) high. If taller–up to 3 ft (.9 in)–the tops should be cut back and the plants heavily watered.

Some growers prefer layers or cuttings of matured wood with 3 to 4 nodes. Cuttings should be well rooted and ready for setting out in 90 days. Rooting may be hastened by hormone treatment. Grafting is an important means of perpetuating hybrids and reducing nematode damage and diseases by utilizing the resistant yellow passion fruit rootstock. If seeds are available in the early spring, seedlings for rootstocks can be raised 4 in (10 cm) apart in rows 24 in (60 cm) apart and the grafted plants will be ready to set out in late summer. If seeds cannot be obtained until late summer, the seedlings are raised and grafted in pots and set out in the spring. Scions from healthy young vines are preferred to those from mature plants. The diameter of the selected scion should match that of the rootstock. Either a cleft graft, whip graft, or side-wedge graft may be made.

If approach-grafting is to be done, a row of potted scions must be placed close alongside the row of rootstocks so that the union can be made at about 3/4 of the height of the plant

Nutritional Value

Yellow passion fruit contains riboflavin and niacin and is rich in amino acids. They also are higher in citric acid and carotene than the Purple passion fruit though they have a lower content of ascorbic acid.

Geography/History

The traditional Purple passion fruit originated in the Amazon region of Brazil, Yellow passion fruit as well is thought to have possibly originated there as a hybrid of P. edulis (Purple passion fruit) and P. ligularis (Sweet Granadilla) or potentially as a chance mutant in Australia. A tropical fruit, the Yellow passion fruit thrives in areas that receive adequate rainfall and sunshine. Its vines do well if sheltered from the wind and will be less susceptible to pests if allowed to grow climbing up a tree or trellis. Today it is grown commercially predominately in Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, India, Columbia, Brazil and Venezuela.

Nutrients in Passion Fruit

A single passion fruit is loaded with more than 300 black seeds which are edible. Passion fruits also have a unique and complex taste like aroma. While the taste is a little tropical, it is also citrusy, sweet and tart all at one go. There are more than two hundred varieties of passion fruits planted globally. While the purple-black skinned variety of passion fruits is still the most popular, the yellow passion fruit variety is also growing in popularity with many consumers globally. It is best for processing passion fruit juices.

A Delicious Passion Fruit Blend
A Delicious Passion Fruit Blend

When fully ripe, the skin of the passion fruit will be wrinkled and brittle but don’t be turned off  by the look of the skin. Inside the passion fruit, you will find a very succulent yellow flesh. A single passion fruit consists of about 16 calories and is packed with lots of vitamins A and C. Passion fruit is also a great source of fibre when it is eaten with the seeds.

When growing passion fruits, it is important to ensure that the passion fruit plant is on a very strong support system. Usually, a trellis or trellising system is used when growing the passion fruit.

The passion fruit plant will grow to about 20 feet every year and can easily take over a support system such as fencing or tree. Once grown, the passion fruit will keep on fruiting for 8 years before you will need to replace it.

Making a Passion Fruit Salad dressing

One of the best way to consume passion fruit is by making a sweet tart salad dressing of passion fruits with strawberries and baby spinach or even a salad consisting of greens, pear slices as well as blue cheese crumbles.

The ingredients that you will need for its preparation include the following:-

  • Two to three passion fruits
  • A half a cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • A tablespoon of lime juice
  • A tablespoon of vinegar
  • Two tablespoons of honey
  • A quarter tablespoon of salt

Directions for Preparations

  • Slice the passion fruit into half and scrap off the passion fruit pulp along with the seeds into a saucepan. Cook the passion fruit pulp over low heat until it comes close to the boiling point and then remove it from the heat.
  • The strain the passion fruit pulp through a fine sieve or a colander and get rid of the seeds. Allow the passion fruit juice to cool down.
  • Place the cooled passion fruit into a blender jar alongside the olive oil, vinegar, honey, lime juice and salt and blend the mixture until it is smooth.
  • Store the passion fruit salad dressing in a refrigerator for duration of up to a week. You can stir and shake the blend before you use it.
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The Mysty Gem Passion Fruit Variety

Grown mostly in Australia and New Zealand, the Mysty Gem passion fruit is known to be the sweetest passion fruit variety. Its pulp colour varies from a bright yellow colour to a pumpkin colour. It also has numerous small, hard and black seeds.

The inside of the Mysty Gem passion fruit is white. It has a great flavor that can be quite refreshing. Its flavor ranges from a tangy one to a guava-like flavor. The Mysty Gem passion fruit can be eaten by directly spooning or scooping the flesh. The Mysty Gem pulp can also be used for cheesecakes, icings and fruit flans. When buying the Mysty Gem passion fruit in the market, choose ones that are smooth, dark, heavy and firm.

Best Seasons to Grow the Mysty Gem Passion fruits

The best seasons for growing your Mysty Gems are in summer, spring, winter and autumn.

Where in Australia can you grow the Mysty Gem Passion fruit?
The most ideal growing areas for the Mysty Gem passion fruits include the following:-

  • The Coastal areas of Queensland
  • The North Coast of New South Wales
  • The Melbourne Metropolitan area
  • Darwin in Northern Territory

Check Photos of the Mysty Gem Passionfruits below:-

Mysty Gem Passionfruit
Mysty Gem Passionfruit

 

Mysty Gem Passionfruit Variety
Mysty Gem Passionfruit Variety

 

Mysty Gem Passion Fruit Variety
Mysty Gem Passion Fruit Variety

For additional information, check out our Passion Fruit Farming Guide.