Several years ago, at Alfalfa House, our beautiful friend Jay introduced Olive and I to banana passionfruits. Jay was super-enthusiastic, having grown up eating them. I was less enthusiastic, having had a disastrous encounter with some passion pop around the age of 15.
|Banana passionfruit inside. According to Oski, they're "just like little lollies!"|
In spite of my passionfruit aversion, however, I could still see the appeal (most significantly that they have more pulp and are easier to eat than a normal passionfruit) and planted one about a year ago, here on Autumn Farm.
The thing went beserk.
|The vine, along with a bit of fluoro pink geranium and a hardenbergia|
So much so that I began to think that the weedy rootstock (which most commercially-grown passionfruits are grafted onto) had taken over. Just when I was beginning to think I had a really really tedious and enormous weeding job on my hands, some flowers appeared, and a quick Google consult confirmed that they were indeed the flowers of a banana passionfruit. Yay! The best thing about this discovery was that we had HEAPS of flowers on our vine, which we hoped would translate into HEAPS of fruit.
And they did. Right before winter.
|Green banana passionfruits on a mattress spring fence in winter, getting ready for their spring flush|
I couldn't quite work out how this would work. Do they just hang there, green, over the winter? Through frosts? Then ripen up when the weather warms? It seemed unlikely, but it turns out this is exactly what they did. The first glimpses of spring brought the first glimpses of yellow fruit on the vine, and we're now reaping the bounty.
|Easy and delicious for kids! Oski demands one in his lunch box, always|
Yes, even I am enjoying several of these little beauties every day. It seems my passionfruit aversion (and my very dramatic and vehement dislike of peanut butter) was 'cured' by chemo. When I read on the chemo side effects lists that my "taste buds might change", I was sceptical. Especially when it came to peanut butter, which I couldn't even stand being in a room with. But here I am, eating passionfruit and peanut butter like there's no tomorrow. Amazing! Delicious!
So if you're thinking of planting a passionfruit, or a climbing vine, or a shade-supplier with edible side benefits, have a go at a banana passionfruit. They're ridiculously vigorous (ours covered a 3-mattress-springs-long fence in a little over a year) and will supply you with beautiful, delicious fruit at a time of year when you might need a little break from the citrus. What more could you ask for?