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Saturday, November 14, 2015

Keeping Passion Alive in Kenya

The yellow passion fruit is one of Kenya’s top three export fruit crops and is important to Kenya's agricultural future well-being. 


Passion fruit photo by RabunWarna
Passion fruits are sold as juice or as whole fruits. Home cooks also enjoy picking the fruit, slicing into salads, creating icing, candy, ice cream, chutney, sauce, and syrups. The tender young leaves of passion fruit are also eaten as a vegetable similar to spinach. The seed of passion fruit produces oil that can be used for home and industrial purposes.


Varieties of Passion Fruits

Most passion fruits are vigorous growing vines that can climb up to 30 feet or 9 meters. The fruit varies in color from purple to orange-red and in size from a golf ball to a tennis ball. 

Passiflora edulis Flavicarpa
The yellow passion fruit is one of Kenya’s top three export fruit crops
Yellow passion fruit photo by aflama
Golden Passion Fruit or Yellow passion fruit is not a distinct species from the purple passion fruit just slightly larger. The origins of the yellow passion fruit are unclear but it is believed to have also originated in subtropical South America and now grows throughout the world including South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Kenya.

Passiflora ligularis
The sweet tasting orange-yellow colored passion fruit is commonly known as the Sweet Granadilla.

Passiflora caerulea- Blue passion flower is better known for its beautiful flower than the egg-shaped orange-red fruits.
Blue passion flower 
Passiflora caerulea
Blue passion flower is better known for its beautiful flower than the egg-shaped orange-red fruits.

Passiflora edulis
Purple or Violet passion fruit is the most popular passion fruit variety. Passiflora edulis is commonly called purple passion fruit originated in subtropical South America, from southern Brazil to Argentina.


The yellow passion fruit has gained great interest in Kenya as a commercial crop. According to Farm Africa, around 3,800 passion fruit farmers cultivate about 425 hectares or 1,050 acres of passion fruit farming land.  


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