Sunday, 11 September 2016

Passiflora caerulea



Given that they come from South America and have an exotic appearance it is perhaps surprising that passion flowers can grow happily outdoors here. They thrive if planted in a sunny sheltered spot especially in the southern half of the country Once the flowers are over they produce a fruit which is unlikely to ripen into something edible unless there is a long hot summer or the vine is planted in a glass house.
How the flower came to be named is an interesting story which some of you may already know.
In the late c15th early c16th Spanish missionaries to South America adopted the flower as a teaching tool to explain the story of the Passion of Christ to the indigenous people.
The three stigmas in the center represent the nails that held Christ to the cross - one of mine has snapped which I didn't notice when I took the photo. The five anthers represent the five wounds, the five white petals and five sepals around the edge together represent the ten faithful apostles, but exclude Judas, the betrayer, and Peter who denied Christ. The pretty filaments which can number in excess of a hundred are said to represent the crown of thorns, and their colour blue - heaven. The tendrils (not shown on my photo) are the whips used in the flagellation.

Rich in vitamins A & C I am partial to some passion fruit in my yogurt
 
It makes a tasty cheesecake, or a delicious meringue and cream roulade. There are many recipes using the fruit including jam and a curd which is made using a similar method to lemon curd

44 comments:

  1. Hello Rosemary, I didn't know that passion flowers would grow in England; yours is certainly beautiful. Passionfruit is very available and inexpensive here, coming in large bags. To be at its best, the outer skin should be soft and wrinkled--the fruit is not going bad. The best way to enjoy is just to cut in half and scoop out with a spoon.
    --Jim

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    1. Hello Jim - here we have to purchase them individually as they are rather costly - I would love to get my hands on an inexpensive bag full like you can, and then I would make some passionfruit jam.

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    2. Say, Rosemary, that's not a bad idea, some passionfruit jam or curd--especially the curd. Do you have a recommended recipe? Jim

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    3. This recipe sounds very simple for a passionfruit curd which is the one that I would try. It does say cook over a low heat in a saucepan, but I would put the mixture in a 'bain marie' which is a heat resistant bowl sitting over a saucepan of boiling water. There is no risk then of the mixture curdling whilst cooking.
      http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/22190/passionfruit+curd

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    4. Hi Rosemary, Today I found some passion fruit very inexpensive in a market, so I decided to try the recipe. I took your advice to use the bain marie, and the curd came out beautiful. I did put it through a strainer before bottling it, and next time I would consider using less sugar--say 1/2 cup. These passion fruit were on the sweet side--sometimes they can be tart as lemons!

      Thanks for giving me the idea.
      --Jim

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    5. Lucky you Jim - so pleased that it worked for you, and I am sure it was better to strain out the black pips which are quite hard and crunchy. Enjoy.

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  2. I didn't know the story of the passion flower, so thank you for the information. They grow in Florida, but I don't know if we have them here in Georgia.

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    1. I would have thought that they would thrive quite happily with you - your weather sounds like the tropics when you mention it.

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  3. Dear Rosemary, Passion Flowers are so exotic and I love the one you photographed. I have grown them in my simple, unheated greenhouse from seed. The are very easy to grow. I have had seed pods form but never to fruition. Nor have I tasted one. I must look for them in our travels.

    I live in zone 3 and Passion Flowers require zone 7. I love their vines in flower arrangements...they are sturdy and long lasting and that is really why I grow them.

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    1. Do give them a try Gina, I am sure that you would like the flavour - they look as if they are past there sell by date with their wringled dark coloured skin, but that is when they are ripe and lovely.

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  4. Your flower is gorgeous! I don't think I've seen the flower before but I love the fruit. I think it has such an interesting astringent quality in the mouth, it's part of the experience of eating it though it took me a few tries to get used to it.

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    1. It is really strange that such a beautiful and exotic flower also produces a lovely tasty fruit.

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  5. I have wondered how this fruit acquired its name, and now I know, thank you Rosemary. I love passion fruit but have never grown them. My parents had a vine.
    In other fruit news I tasted an elderflower drink on Friday and it is exquisite! I was imagining your ice cream.. We are enjoying London and will tour the State Rooms tomorrow.

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    1. Dear Patricia - I didn't realise that you had arrived already - welcome.
      So pleased that you tasted elderflower cordial - it is lovely and a very refreshing flavour - I usually have a bottle in the fridge, and make it from the flowers during May. However, the elderflower tastes nothing like it's berries which are more like a blackcurrant in flavour.
      Have a wonderful time visiting the State Rooms tomorrow - look forward to seeing your photos, and hope the sunshines for you both.

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  6. I didn't know the story behind the name although it is the same also in our language. It is an amazing flower to look at!

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    1. The story really makes you look at the flower in more detail when picking our the elements used in the Christian story.

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  7. What a beautiful flower along with its story. You are so lucky to live in a part of the world where gardens grow so well. All my flowers usually die in July from the extreme heat and humidity here. I really don't know anything about gardening as a result.

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    1. I can well imagine how things do perish in the heat Catherine - whilst we were away in Austria for only a week, we had a heatwave here, and I returned to find lots of my plants had seemingly died - luckily they have now come back to life and are flourishing again.

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  8. It is such an usual flower. I enjoyed reading the story behind its use. It would be very interesting to try and grow it in my garden, but, as you suggest, disappointing if the conditions aren't quite right for the fruit.

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    1. It is worth giving the plant a try Wendy for the flowers alone - the fruits can always be purchased when in season.

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  9. Beautiful photos! Passion fruit is known as lilikoi in Hawaii. Lilikoi chiffon pie is heavenly.

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    1. I can imagine that Lilikoi chiffon pie is very heavenly as I do liked the flavour of the passion fruit Linda

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  10. Hello, Rosemary! I’ve wondered why the flower is called “passion flower” in English as it doesn’t look so passionate, then I found another meaning “the Passion”. Apart from Christian symbolism, it is called “tokei-so” meaning “clock face flower” in Japan. I like to try various different fruit sauce in my yogurt. Passion fruit looks so nice.

    Yoko

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    1. Hello Yoko - do give the passion fruit a try - you could just buy one and see if you like it - it is very good in yogurt.

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  11. I love the Passiflora and I love the fruit, but I would never have thought it could live and survive the winter in England ! I just moved to a new home here in Milan, and Passiflora is one of the climbing plants that I will put on my terrasse. Interesting how it got the name!

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    1. I expect that you will get some ripe fruit on your Jane - it should make lovely screen on your terrace.

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  12. Hi Rosemary, Passionflowers are simply amazing blooms. I should be able to grow them in my garden, but have never tried. Maybe I give them a shot!
    I would love to use the fruits more for baking and cooking, but I prefer to buy them organically grown and they are incredible pricey here in Southern California!
    Warm regards,
    Christina

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    1. Dear Christina - I feel sure that the Passion flower should thrive with you, but just make sure that you give them plenty of dappled shade to protect them from the direct sun.

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  13. The passion flower is called 'wheel of fortune' here. We can grow the plants but the fruit don't ripen. I drink passionflower tea at night to ward off insomnia, it works better than camomile.

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    1. I have never heard of passion flower tea, but I know that you can get all kinds of lovely tea blends in Turkey - I always bring home apple tea with me, and would buy others if my suitcase was big enough.

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  14. Interesting info I didn't know. Somewhat ironic though when modern research believes that 80 to 95 percent of all native populations in the New World were wiped out by settlers and christian missionaries unknowingly introducing flu, smallpox, typhus,diphtheria, measles and cholera within 30 to 100 years of first contact so it wasn't only Jesus that suffered. Many flourishing cultures simply disappeared overnight. Same thing happened in Africa and North America although in that instance it may have been deliberately introduced as they didn't want the expense of feeding large numbers of native groups through the winter so gave them blankets laced with smallpox to keep them warm.(Dee Brown- Bury My heart at Wounded Knee.)
    You've got to love religions and their unshakable belief that everything they do is for the best compared to the 'savages' that needed 'saved' and 'converted' :o)

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    1. Of course many indigenous people visited by missionaries already had their own forms of religion and belief - no matter how sincere the missionaries were, historically it does not seem right that someone else should inflicted their religious beliefs upon them.

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  15. I had them growing in my warm and sunny back garden in Brixham, very unusual looking flowers but so pretty.

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    1. Individual flowers stay briefly but usually the vine has plenty more of them to show off

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  16. Fascinating - I didn't know any of that (except that growing passion fruit in the UK tends not to work).

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    1. I have managed to get quite good sized fruits which turn bright orange, but I have never had one fully ripen.

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  17. Dear Rosemary, they have a lot of Passiflora in the borders of the Charlottenburger Schlossgarten - they fit in, but they always seem a bit stiff and akwards to me. Now I know what one can do with the fruits!

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    1. Lots of lovely things you can do with the fruits Britta especially if you like the flavour - the is good to see you back again♡

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  18. Dear Rosemary,

    The passionflower is really pretty and love the colours. Passion fruit is one of my favourites and love the fruit and often buy them when I see the in the shops. They are expensive so a real treat.
    Happy weekend
    Hugs
    Carolyn

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    1. Dear Carolyn - the fruits are expensive here too, so they are just an occasional treat when in season.

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  19. very beautiful though little complicated but nature has created everything in a really perfect and most reasonable manner .
    thankl you for sharing the joy dear .visiting you is a great pleasure

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    1. Thank you Baili - I do appreciate your kind comment and visit - thank you

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  20. Beautiful photos and a lovely fruit too...
    Best wishes for a great weekend!
    Titti

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    1. Hope the weekend is good for you too Titti - we have been having super hot weather during the past week and I imagine that you have too.

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