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Passion Fruit

Passiflora edulis

Purple Passion Fruit, Passiflora edulis, in cultivation near Eldoret, Kenya, photo © by Michael Plagens

The name Passion Fruit comes from an interpretation of the amazing flower structure. Note the Sun-like corona below a three-parted stigma all set above 10 (usually) petals.

Passion flowers were encountered in the Western Hemisphere by early European explorers. The illustrations caused quite a bit of consternation among some clergy who saw symbolic shapes and formulas. It was the sweet and edible fruits, however, that led to their spread to tropical areas in Africa and elsewhere. In addition to the purple variety, a yellow passion fruit (Passiflora edulis flavicarpa) is also cultivated in Kenya, but mostly in warmer, more humid regions.

Passifloraceae -- Passion Flower Family

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Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens, Created on 12 May 2011