Passiflora mollissima

Passiflora mollissima
Source: Dick Culbert

Passiflora mollissima or Bananadilla, is a vigorous vine with beautiful bright pink flowers hanging from long stalks.

The leaves are lobed and toothed. Leaves are hairy on both sides as well as the stems.

In its native habitat, this Passion flower can reach 20 m high and 20 years of age. In colder climates, the plant dies when it freezes but resumed in the spring. In warmer areas it is persistent.

A native of the Andes where it grows between 2,000 and 3,600 m, it is now widely cultivated throughout the tropics for the beauty of its flowers and oblong green fruit, turning yellow when ripe and very tasty: South Africa, Asia, Pacific islands. In some rainy areas of Hawaii it is invasive.

Common name:

Banana Passion Fruit, Bananadilla, Curuba, Tacso, Tumbo

Synonyms:

Murucuia mollissima, Passiflora mollissima, Passiflora tomentosa var. mollissima, Tacsonia mollissima, Tacsonia mollissima var. glabrescens

Origin:

Andes, between 2,000 and 3,600 m

Usage:

Decorative.
Very tasty fruit, fresh and in juices.

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 9, -3 °C

Soil:

Fertile and well drained.
Tolerates a wide variety of soils, except desert conditions

Height:

10 m



Flowers:

Beautiful pink flower, 5 to 10 cm hanging from a long stalk

Propagation:

Seed, cutting

Germination:

1 to 2 weeks if the temperature is maintained at 21-26 °C
Up to 10 weeks at lower temperatures.

Exposure:

Sun, light

Sowing instructions:

  • soak seeds 1-2 days
  • sow in a light mixture
  • moisten
  • maintain between 21 and 26 °C

Care:

  • water abundantly during summer
  • fertilize frequently during summer
  • Grown in pots, a smaller pot limits root growth and promotes flowering, a bigger pot promotes root growth and reduces flowering

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