Images © Markus Varga

Passiflora kermesina

Rio de Janeiro Brazil 1826
Min 6°C 43°F

Passiflora kermesina was thought for many years to be a lost species. A determined effort to find it however led to success in late 2001. The droopy look to the leaves is typical of P. kermesina & similar plants such as P. loefgrenii. I think it is an adaptation like the droopy growing tips on many Passiflora to discourage insect attack. The clone above has narrower leaves than I would expect, probably species variation.

Passiflora kermesina fruit

The fruit has a smell of rubber. Looks good enough to eat, so in the interests of science I tried some of the juice. Not great, terrible in fact. From the little chemistry I know, together with P. loefgrenii, which is sometimes described as the garlic Passion fruit, I suspect the fruit may be high in selenium. Thanks to Dr. Roland Fisher for sending this fruit to me, which contains seed crossed with P. caerulea. This was a recreation of the P. ‘Amethyst’ cross.