Passiflora quadrangularis (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Passiflora quadrangularis L.

Protologue: Syst. nat. ed. 10 : 1248 (1759).
Family: Passifloraceae
Chromosome number: 2n= 18

Vernacular names

  • Giant granadilla (En)
  • Barbadine, fleur de la passion (Fr)
  • Indonesia: erbis, markisa
  • Malaysia: timun belanda, timun hutan
  • Philippines: granadilla (Tagalog), kasaflora, paróla (Ilokano)
  • Thailand: sukhontharot (Bangkok), mathuarot (Lamphun), taeng kalaa (Chiang Mai)
  • Vietnam: chùm bao dúa, dua gang tây.

Origin and geographic distribution

The giant granadilla originated in South America and has been distributed throughout the tropical lowlands. It is cultivated on a small scale in South and Central America, Hawaii, South-East Asia and Australia, and has become naturalized in moist habitats in these regions.


The fruit of Passiflora species is always used for its juicy pulp, but in P. quadrangularis the fruit flesh is also eaten, which is unique. Because of the bland taste the flesh is mixed with other fruits in salads and stews; in Indonesia the unripe fruit is cooked as a vegetable. However, the pulp of the ripe fruit is the main product. It is enjoyed fresh or processed as fruit juice or syrup. Other processed products are frozen sherbet and canned nectar. The juice or nectar may be blended with that of sweet orange, papaya and guava. Other products are cordials and squash. Carbonated beverages made from the juice have a very distinct and attractive flavour.


The giant granadilla pulp is nutritious and contains, per 100 g: water 88 g, protein 0.9 g, fat 0.2 g, carbohydrates 10.1 g, ash 0.9 g, calcium 10 mg, phosphorus 22 mg, iron 0.6 mg, vitamin A 70 IU, niacin 2.7 mg and vitamin C 20 mg. The energy value amounts to 170 kJ/100 g.


  • Robust perennial climbing herb with fleshy tuberous roots; stems quadrangular with 4 broad, acute wings.
  • Leaves alternate; petiole trigonous, 5-8 cm long, with 3 pairs of glands along the margin; stipules lanceolate, 2-5 cm x 1-2.5 cm, entire or glandulose-serrate; blades ovate to elliptic, 10-25 cm x 8-18 cm, entire, base cordate, apex acuminate, prominently pinnately nerved; tendrils axillary, simple, 20-35 cm long.
  • Flowers solitary in the leaf axils, pendulous, fragrant, showy, 10-12 cm in diameter; calyx tubular at base, lobes 5, ovate, 3-5 cm x 1.5-2 cm, spreading widely, thick, spongy; petals 5, linear-oblong to elliptic, 4-5 cm x 1.5-2 cm, spongy, with dense pattern of red dots; corona with 2 outer layers of sinuous threads, 5-7 cm long, white reddish-purplish; internally several rows of papillae; stamens 5, with large anthers; ovary on gynophore, 1-locular, many-ovuled; styles 3-5 with large stigmas.
  • Fruit a fleshy berry, ovoid-oblongoid, 10-30 cm × 10-18 cm, yellowish-green; pericarp up to 4 cm thick; cavity filled with numerous seeds surrounded by translucent juicy arils; mesocarp and arils are edible.
  • Seeds flat, obovoid, up to 1 cm long, dark brown.


Giant granadilla is a truly tropical plant. Fruiting is said to be poor at sea level and elevations of 200-500 m are recommended; at high elevations growth is slow. The species is less cold-tolerant than P. edulis Sims f. flavicarpa Degener. The vine prefers a moist soil rich in humus.


Giant granadilla can be propagated from seeds and by stem cuttings. The latter are used to clonally propagate outstanding mother plants. Seed is obtained from ripe and healthy fruit; it germinates after 2-4 weeks. When the seedlings have two leaves and are 4-5 cm tall, they are transferred to polybags. The seedlings can be ready for planting in the field within 4 months. Spacing is usually 4 m × 5 m. Trellises are constructed after planting.

One month after planting the vines start to climb the trellis. Crop care includes weeding, fertilization, pruning and pest control. Fertilizers are applied every 4 months. Vines are pruned to attain full exposure of the shoots and to stimulate the growth of new flowering shoots.

Flowers are produced 9 months from planting and ripe fruits are harvested 60-80 days later. Fruitset is often poor outside the region of origin unless the flowers are hand-pollinated. In South-East Asia fruit is available throughout the year. Flowering occurs on vigorously growing shoots, at nodes some distance from the shoot tip. Hence there tends to be a main flowering season following the period of maximum extension growth towards the end of the rainy season. A vine produces 16-50 fruits per season, depending very much on vigour and spacing.

Apart from woodiness caused by a virus, no other serious diseases have been reported to attack the giant granadilla. However, grease spot (caused by the bacterium Pseudomonas passiflora), bacterial spot (caused by Xanthomonas passiflora) and brown spot (caused by the fungus Alternaria passiflorae) may become serious diseases incidentally. Pruning to eliminate dense foliage and facilitate spray penetration is an important preventive measure.


A better insight into the potential and actual yield level of the giant granadilla is needed to more accurately assess its prospects. Postharvest handling of the delicate fruit, processing and marketing also need attention.


  • Anonymous, 1985. Yang asam segar buah Markisah [The refreshing acid fruit of the giant granadilla]. Trubus 16(90): 6-12.
  • Chan Jr., H.T., 1980. Passion Fruit. In: Nagy, S. & Shaw, R.E. (Editors): Tropical and subtropical fruits: composition, properties and uses. The AVI Publishing Company, Westport, Connecticut. pp. 300-315.
  • Haddad, G.O. & Figueroa, R.M., 1973. Estudios de la floracion y fructificacion en parcha granadina (Passiflora quadrangularis L.) [Studies on flowering and fruiting in Passiflora quadrangularis L.]. Agronomia Tropical 22(5): 483-496.
  • Martin, F.N. & Nakasone, H.Y., 1970. The edible species of Passiflora. Economic Botany 24: 333-343.
  • Seale, P.E. & Sherman, G.D., 1960. Commercial passion fruit processing in Hawaii. Hawaii Agricultural Experiment Station, University of Hawaii. Circular 58.


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