Passiflora maliformis Passionflower seeds
Passiflora maliformis belongs to the family of the Passifloraceae, the passionflowers. It is native to the Caribbean and South and Central America. In that regions P. maliformis growth even 1700 m above sea level. The scientific name maliformis means apple shaped, because the big fruits look a little bit like an apple. P. maliformis is also known as sweet Calabash, conch apple and hart shelled passionfruit. In Europe the plant is mainly used as an ornamental plant.
P. maliformis is a fast growing climbing plant and reaches a height of 4 to 5 m.
The leaves are simple and ovate. They get 6 to 25 cm long and 4 to 15 cm wide. Sometime the leaf edge is slightly serrated.
The big flowers hang at the shoot. They reach 9 cm in diameter. The sepals are light green with many purple spots at the inner side. The outer side does not have spots. The petals are as well light green with purple spots. In the middle of the flower there are violet or purple filaments that give the flower her extraordinary look. The flower has a very strong and pleasant odor. The fruit of P. maliformis has a very hard shell. It is oval and gets 5 cm long and 3 cm wide. It is first green and then it gets yellow to orange. The fruits are not easy to open. The fruit includes a yellow or orange pulp. The pulp smells very good and it also tastes very good. Its taste is comparable with the taste of grapefruit. In Jamaica the fruit of P. mailformis is served opened with some sugar. Furthermore a sweet juice can be won from the pulp. This juice can be used for cold drinks. Even the hard shell is used. One can make little doses out of the hard material for example a dose for snuff.
The seeds of P. maliformis should be put into warm water 24 to 48 h before planting. Furthermore rests of pulp should be removed from the seeds to avoid fungi growth. The seeds can be planted 0,5 cm deep into the substrate. When the substrate is kept moist at a temperature form about 25°C germination occurs after 2 to 4 weeks.
P. maliformis does not need a tropical climate to grow well, but is not winter hardy.