There is a type of fruit than can be found in the fruit stall and market. The fruit has a dark-purple skin and oval shape. If the fruit is split, it reveals the soft, juicy flesh, filled with seeds. That said fruit is passion fruit, a type of tropical fruit. Passion fruit is usually processed into beverages, aside from being consumed in raw.
The name of “passion fruit” was dubbed by Spanish Catholic missionaries in 16th Century. They associated the flowers with the suffering and death of Christ. Many of its physical features symbolized the last days of Jesus, particularly the crucifixion.
Passion fruit is a vine plant native from the tropical region of South America, ranging from through Paraguay to northern Argentina. The Spaniards began to distribute passion fruit into the other continents. In the 20th century, the passion fruit had been cultivated in Africa, Asia, and other tropical regions. Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the US state of Hawaii are the key producers of global passion fruit supply.
The yellow passion fruit is the most cultivated variety worldwide. In Indonesia, purple passion fruit is the most commonly found cultivar. Indonesia’s passion fruit plantations are mostly concentrated in North Sumatera Province, specifically in Karo, Simalungun, Dairi, and North Tapanuli Regency). South Sulawesi Province is another region with a significant contribution of passion fruit production, especially in Gowa, Sinjai, Tator, Enrekang, and Polmas Regency.
Red passion fruit (Passiflora edulis f. edulis Sims)
This cultivar of passion fruit is suitable for the lowland region (600 m above sea level) with annual rainfall around 2000 – 3000 mm and ambient temperature between 22 – 32 C. The young fruit is green colored, while the riped fruit is white-spotted red. The skin is quite thick and hard.
Purple passion fruit (Passiflora edulis f. edulis Sims)
Purple passion fruit is a highland cultivar, suitable for the area that reaches 700 – 2000 m above sea level. It prefers annual rainfall around 2000 – 3000 mm and ambient temperature between 18 – 25 C. The fruit initially has green skin, which turns into dark purple when ripe. The skin is rather thin but hard.
Yellow passion fruit (Passiflora edulis SIMS f. Flavicarpa)
The environmental requirements for this variety are similar to the red passion fruit. The young fruit is greed-colored, and turns into bright yellow, sometimes with white speckles, when reaching maturity. Its skin is thick and slightly hard.
The passion fruit plants are actually quite abundant in Indonesia. People are planting them in plantations, public parks, and home yards. Since passion fruit is a vine, it requires of supporting rod for growing. The plant can reach 1,5 to 5-meter height. It has finger-shaped leaves and white, crown-like flowers with aesthetically good-looking. The fruit can be harvested around 85 – 95 days after the flower blooms.