It's probably too late in the season to collect any fruit. Normally it will fruit about July here and I suspect what you are seeing now will die back before the fruit has a chance to set and mature. It can't hurt to check, but you may want to make a note of the spot and return next year. These vines are very good about reseeding themselves.
Amazing flowers, aren't they?
edit...ours is passiflora incarnata L. with fruit that is ripe when pale greenish yellow and starting to wrinkle.
As an earlier poster said, what you have is the "maypop" version of the passion flower plant. Most of the passion flower species is a tropical plant, but a few are hardy including the maypop.
I have some growing at my house here in zone 7B, the fruit taste just like Hawaiian punch to me.
The flowers are really neat too.
I created a shady zone with giant sticks and this vine to grow mushrooms in. I'm starting to run some of them up my mulberry trees to see what happens.
The sterile varieties that don't have juicy yumminess inside the fruit make great clown noses!
This year, there were many beautiful blooms and it has lots of fruit. They are all still very green and very smooth skinned. I've broken open two (chosen because of minor imperfections), but they have only dry pulp and small white seeds. The weather here this spring/summer has been long stretches of record highs without rain, alternating with several flooding rains. We were always one end of the spectrum or the other. It's nearly mid October now, with temps 65/40F (about 5° below avg). Will they have time to fully ripen here in zone 7?
Calvin Mars wrote:I I'm starting to run some of them up my mulberry trees to see what happens.
I just spent two days getting some of our Passion fruit vines out of our mulberry trees, they were becoming strangled and that is not good for our mulberries.
We have Passion fruit growing all around our fence line and as the fruits start to ripen we give most of them to the hogs (who love them) and I eat a few when fully ripe.
The fruits have plenty of seeds inside and when we want to grow some more, we just toss a few ripe fruits into the area we want more Passion fruits to grow in.
If I let them grow into any trees it is usually the hickory trees that I want to remove in the future.
So far no hickory tree I've let them grow into has survived more than two years of Passion fruit occupation. At that point I get out the saw and remove the dead tree.
Some online sources claim that Maypops will flower and fruit in their very first year, and I was surprised to find that it was true. About half of the plants I started from seed fruited this year. They're also already shooting up runners, which makes division laughably easy.
How many perennial fruits will bear in their first year and are this easy to propagate? This plant is a rare gift.
I trellised all but one plant, and supported the last plant by simply shoving some sticks in the ground. Ironically, it was the best plant of the bunch.
@Karen. If you really need to, you might be able to pick them early and ripen them off the plant. The fruits that naturally fall off the vine aren't entirely ripe either, and their flavor is improved greatly by waiting for the smooth green skin to become wrinkled and yellowish green.
Dylan, thanks I will try that. I checked them again today and they're still green. I'll just pick a few to see if they'll ripen inside. I may put them in with my apples to help ripen them. I am excited to (hopefully) try them for the first time.
I found one today that was detached from the vine, hanging in the grapes vines/briars. And because it has about six inches of vine attached, I don't believe it fell off. It was rather wrinkled and a yellowish green color. Thought I'd try it. It does taste a little lemony ( love raw lemons). I don't think I want a whole mouthful of those seeds, they're a bit harder than I imagined. The seeds are about a quarter inch in size, each enclosed in it's own juice filled sac. Reminds me of fish eggs.
I wonder if the one I tried is fully ripe yet. Do they get even juicier and sweeter or is this as good as it gets? There does seem to be some tiny, flat, seedless, juice less nodes amongst the full ones. Maybe that indicates it's still immature. If this is as good as it gets, I'll have to say that they're just okay, won't be a foraging favorite, but fun and interesting to eat.
Lots more on the vine that are still green and smooth. I find that surprising since it's the end of Oct. but I don't really know when they are ripe here. Evidently, the cows like them too because the whole vine has disappeared from the other side of the fence.
Karen Donnachaidh wrote:Bryant, good advice. Don't plant maypops near trees you care to keep.
I think this may depend on the amount of water they have available. In my climate (very dry summers) the Passiflora vines often don't fruit very much or get more than 36" long. Then in a wetter-than-usual summer they may get thirty feet long and make dozens of fruits.
Anyway I have several patches close to Osage Orange trees and they try to climb up into the trees every year that they get enough water. But the next year the vines often don't even try to climb the same tree; they don't appear to have enough climbing vigor. I've yet to see a tree stressed by a Passiflora vine, much less killed.
It's just a theory about the water issue. But I'm confident there's something region-or-site specific about the potential for danger to trees.
I distributed the seeds that I didn't eat along the same fence but further down. I probably should have considered the proximity to the big spice berry bush.
In the four years we've owned Buzzard's Roost, we have never had a year that the maypops were less than 20 feet long.
I just pulled all the fruits form one vine and got 27 of them for the hogs.
We have been averaging 48.6 inches of rain the last two years, this year may raise that average a bit, so far we have gotten 54.4 inches for 2016.
Arkansas seems to be headed towards border line rain forest, usually we have two monsoon like sessions, spring and fall with no rain for August.
This year we have not experienced a month with out at least 3 inches of rain fall.
Karen Donnachaidh wrote:I wonder if the one I tried is fully ripe yet. Do they get even juicier and sweeter or is this as good as it gets?
The one you posted in the picture looks unripe, judging by the milky white arils, whereas a ripe fruit has translucent arils. They're quite disgusting at that milky stage, in my opinion - I felt physically ill after eating a few unripe arils, so exercise caution.
The easiest way to tell if a maypop is ready to eat is to simply sniff it. Ripe fruits have a distinct and pleasant* floral aroma. Unripe fruits are odorless.
*YMMV. To me it smells floral and tropical - banana esque. I've heard others describe it as leather, rubber, and even urine.
Green they are truly horrible to taste, fully ripe they are sweet.
For me the biggest problem is all the seeds, most of ours go to the hogs who eat them with gusto and poop the seeds all over their pen to grow next year.
Interestingly, the hogs will refuse to eat the vines until late in the year, when they systematically eat the whole plant to the ground.
Your post reminded me to go out and check the remaining fruits.
There are 19 left on the vine, as far as I can see. They all still have smooth skins. We've had two significant frosts so far and you can see where it has turned the skins greenish white on their upper surfaces. I opened another one to smell and taste. Smells a little like wet grass to me. I tasted only 2 arils (thanks for the proper word) and they were as I reported last time. I distributed the remaining arils along the same fence.
I took your advice and tried to ripen some off the vine but I may have plucked those way too early. They did wrinkle and turn yellowish but clearly unripe inside when I checked them.
What do you mean when you say "mechanical scarification"?
I didn't find these to be horrible but more like mildly lemon flavored and not sweet. I do like raw lemons so that part was okay I guess.
Don't you think they should have all ripened by now? I don't know when to expect them to be at their best here (zone7). It could have to do with our rains this year. It was one extreme to the other there.
The vines that the cows could reach have been eaten awhile back.
Since we also have persimmons (which I like a lot better) I haven't really paid a lot of attention to the passion fruits unless they are ripe.
When we first got here I tried them at different stages and found they can be really bitter all the way to really sweet.
I too have found a few that smelled and tasted lemony but I noticed those, while still green and smooth skinned, they were also very soft when I squeezed them.
We mostly let them grow where they want to since the flowers are such great stuff for the pollinators, our honey bees love them as do the hummingbird moths.
Karen Donnachaidh wrote:What do you mean when you say "mechanical scarification"?
I ought to begin by mentioning that P. incarnata has temperate recalcitrant seeds*, meaning the seed germinates reliably, but only if the seed is kept moist during its journey from fruit to the soil.
My issue was, that back when I started growing them I only had dry seed*, which is a notorious challenge to germinate. Since I had a lot of dry seeds gleaned from eaten fruit, I ran a little experiment trying to germinate them.
First I tried hot water soaking, cold water soaking, and cold stratification, all of which yielded no results. I then tried damaging the seedcoat (mechanical scarification) using sandpaper, and got no results. Finally, I tried nicking the seedcoat using a pair of toenail clippers and got about a dozen seeds out of 100 to germinate.
I don't recommend this, but it did work. It's a delicate process with small seeds and I damaged a lot of poor little seeds doing this.
*Anyone contemplating growing maypops should take this into account before buying seeds online. The seeds are probably sold dry.
If you don't have animals to eat the fruit and poop out the seeds you will need to replicate the process by using a dilute acid solution to soak the seeds in for good germination rates.
This can be done with acetic acid (log soak time) or you can use nitric acid or sulfuric acid (same as a car battery) just add 5 ml of acid to 100ml of water. (always add acids to water not water to acids).
A mason jar makes a fine container for your acid solution. When done you can neutralize the acid solution with baking soda (2 TBS for the above solution will do the trick).
You can buy sulfuric acid as a car battery rejuvenator additive at most automotive supply stores.
I wonder if I could get much results using either vinegar or aspirin. Does it have to be a highly corrosive acid to work?