Images © 2010 Stephen Gray

Passiflora alata

Brazil 1788
Min 4°C 40°F

Stephen Gray comments:-

‘I came across a fruit on a farm in Minas Gerais, Brazil (Boa Esperança, Furnas, Formiga, Minas Gerais) and planted it in my garden that same year, thinking it was P. alata. The fruit is more round than ovoid and doesn’t go the deep orange of alata. The flavour of the fruit is better than alata… it’s richer and, while very sweet, more acid, too… but the scent is the same.

There are never more than two pairs of petiole glands. The petiole glands on mature leaves have a yellowness to them (variable). The biggest leaves are 16cm x 20cm (just the flat surface: the petiole adds about 10cm to the 20cm dimension) The flowers are about 12cm in diameter. The ripe orange fruit is 8cm wide, 9cm long and has a circumference of 26cm… that’s the biggest of this crop. Most fruits are 22cm to 24cm in circumference when ripe.’

In fact it is thought that this is P. alata but demonstates the variation within one species.

Passiflora alata ‘Linhares’. A quite different form with a less vigorous growth habit and smaller pinker flowers. To date only one pair of petiole glands. Fabulous perfume similar to P. alata. May be a species variation or taxonomists may in time decide it is something else altogether.