domingo, 8 de agosto de 2010

PASSIONFLOWERS

At long last, I am so proud to brag that I am growing my all-time favorite flower!!! After many years of oohing and ahhing over its dramatic colors and showy displays, envying other gardens cascading with its tropical vine, even obsessing over its tangy fruit juice, I GREW IT! it is mine. and not just one, but TWO thriving plants!

Without further ado, allow me to introduce my garden's latest showstopper:
The family Passiflora is large and varied, so identifying specific species is a bit out of my league. Passionflowers stand out with their dazzling bold blossoms, typically pollinated by large bees and hummingbirds (both of which I have seen buzzing by this very flower).
Passionflower of course produces passionfruit, a baseball-sized fruit that Nicas call calala, which is popular in juice. In the market they are sold a ripe yellow color, so as of yet, the calala in the photo is not mature.

I can take a pretty good stab at this, my second vine, being the largest of all passionflower varieties, Passiflora quadrangularis.
Granadilla is a gigantic fruit, also containing a tart flesh used for refreshing drinks. It is especially large for growing on a vine, but sorry--I do not actually have any fruit on this guy yet.
isn't this blossom enough???!
The granadilla vine is part of my vision of a natural shade patio; an edible, ornamental, and also functional plant!
the flowers dangle straight down, as will the fruit

For now I am perfecting the art of passionfruit juice so that I'll be ready when my own crop is ripe ;)

Calalas contain dark colored seeds encased in a slimy pulp, which I know, does not look super tasty. but stay with me...
In Nica it is common practice to serve fruit juices with their pulp and/or seeds, leaving you with gulps of chunky beverage to enjoy, or if you're like me, with a tricky "straining of your own glass without looking too gross" technique. Therefore, in making my own batch, I press the pulp through a strainer, extracting as much of the tangy flavor without the actual globs.
Add water in the straining process, about 1 cup per fruit, and sugar to taste.
PASSION in a glass: ¡Deliciosa!

6 comentarios:

africanaussie dijo...

Mmmm yum. Looks as though you are well on the way to harvesting bucketloads of passionfruit. I just love the smell of the flowers too. I love to add a bit of sweetener to that strained pulp, then store it in the fridge as a cordial and add soda water as needed.

Rainforest Gardener dijo...

I am so jealous! My passionfruit is still a bit on the small side since I started it from seed last fall. On the bright side, it survived our very cold winter somehow! I'll have to find another one soon so I can cross pollinate it.

islandgal246 dijo...

Do you get the banana shaped ones as well? Delicioso!

Meredehuit ♥ dijo...

Looks delicious and what an amazing plant. This is my first time to ever see a passion flower. Truly amazing!

Bridget dijo...

we have this flower in Richmond! How? Curiouser and curiouser. LYLAS

phyte club katie dijo...

Not surprisingly, squirrels like the flowers too (the nectar, I'm guessing). I was in the San Francisco Botanical Garden the other day and had a fun photo shoot of one crawling through Passiflora mollissima vines and chewing on the ends of the pink flowers. The gardeners there hate the squirrels, but I have to say it was pretty cute!