Passion flower

Passion flower (Passiflora)

This is the flower of passion fruit (Passiflora edulis). In Hawaii, it is called liliko'i in Hawaiian or lilikoi in English. On the island of Puerto Rico, the fruit is called parcha. In Venezuela, it is called parchita. In Colombia, it is known as maracuya. In Ecuador, it is maracuya or grenadilla depending on the stage of ripeness and location. In the Dominican Republic, it is called Chinola. In Malaysia and Indonesia, it is also known as markisa and the yellow variety is called konyal in Sundanese language. In South Africa the purple variety is called a granadilla whereas the golden/yellow variety is called guavadilla. In Brazil and Portugal the fruit is known as maracujá. In Jamaica it is called sweet cup.

Early European explorers gave the plant its common name because the flower's complex structure and pattern reminded them of symbols associated with the passion of Christ. It was said that the flower contained the lashes received by Christ, the crown of thorns, the column, the five wounds and the three nails.

The fruit can be grown to eat or for its juice, which is often added to other fruit juices to enhance aroma.

In Hawaii, the passion fruit tends to grow wild above 1000ft. Despite being an important commercial crop, both types of passion fruits have become major pest species in many tropical regions, particularly Hawaii and other Pacific Islands.

Although it grows at higher elevations in the tropics, this particular specimen was found on the beach (so it might be a different species (possibly Foetid Passion Flower, Stinking Passion Flower or Love in a mist (Passiflora foetida)) - let me know if you can identify it).

Picture taken on Oahu.


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