Scientific name: Passiflora ligularis.
Common name(s): Sweet granadilla, grenadia.
Passiflor ligularis is a vigorous climbing plant native to Mexico, Central America and northwest South America south to Bolivia. Valued for its edible fruit (second only to P. edulis) and ornamental flowers, it is commonly cultivated and has often escaped in the tropical highlands of Central and South America. P. ligularis has been introduced and cultivated in India, east and southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand and several Pacific islands, and is invasive in Haiti, Jamaica, Hawaii, Singapore, Indonesia, Zimbabwe, the Galapagos Islands and Samoa.
When eaten whole, the seeds of the fruit have a fiber content of approximately 1.9 grams, the fiber is crucial for gut health and preventing constipation. Passiflor ligularis provides antioxidant properties to help combat free radicals (which can damage cells). It also improve blood flow and prevent inflammation. The fruit contains vitamin B, iron and potassium which are good for production of red and white blood cells. Red blood cells are called for combating anemia.
The skin of granadilla also offers higher quantities of flavonoids which behave as natural antihistamines. This helps to fight off hay fever. Granadilla contains minerals that have been linked to decreased levels of stress and anxiety.
Seed are best sown as soon as it is ripe along with the pulp which will help break down the seed coat and speed up germination. Fresh seed germinates in 10 - 20 days. Stored seed should be soaked for 24 hours in warm water and germination time can be reduced if the seed is then mixed with the juice of a fresh passion fruit (of any species).
It is said that this species is unsuitable for cultivation in the lowland tropics. It is usually grown at elevations between 800 - 3,000 metres in the tropics and down to sea level in the subtropics. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 22 - 26°c, but can tolerate 16 - 31°c. When dormant, the plant can survive temperatures down to about -1°c, but young growth can be severely damaged at 0°c. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,000 - 1,200mm, but tolerates 650 - 1,800mm. The plant equires a humus-rich, moist but well-drained soil and a position in dappled shade but it tends to flower and fruit more freely when grown in soils of only moderate fertility. The plant prefers a pH in the range 6 - 7, tolerating 5.1 – 7. Plants are very tolerant of pruning and can be cut back to ground level if required to rejuvenate the plant