Passiflora laurifolia L.

Bell-apple, Jamaica Honeysuckle, Sweetcup, Yellow Water-lemon, Yellow Grenadilla

Family: Passifloraceae

Genus: Passiflora

Category: Vine

Size: To 30'

Exposure: Sun, Filtered Sun


Twining vine. Leaves alternate, leathery with tendrils in the leaf axils. Fragrant flowers to 4" across, purple-red sepals. Yellow fruit to 3" long, ovoid, edible pulp and juice. Needs a warm dry atmosphere to fruit.

From Bot. Reg. (the fruit) is nearly of the form and size of a smallish Lemon, yellow spotted with white, having a soft leathery rind, enclosing a mass of separate brown flattish cordate cohesive seeds, each coated by a thick pulpy membrane constituting the esculent portion of the fruit, much as the case is with the Pomegranate. The pulp is watery and sweetish, of a pleasant taste, for the sake of which the fruit is eaten, as well as medicinally in fevers. When the rind is broken at the top, the eatable contents are obtained at once by a slight compression. The flowers are both fragrant and beautiful; the young foliage is of a bright tender green, gradually darkening till nearly black, in which it resembles, as well as slightly in shape, that of the Laurel.


Introduced from the West Indies in 1690.

Native to the Caribbean and South America.

First published in Sp. Pl. 2: 956 in 1753.

Also published in Bot. Reg. 1: 13 in 1815.

From Bot. Reg. One of the oldest stove-plants in our collections, having been introduced from the West Indies by Mr. Bentinck, afterwards Lord Portland, in 1690. It has been found wild by Plumier and Jacquin in the Island of Martinique, growing only in the closest groves and thickets, where it winds itself round the trees for support.


Sources of Information

© 2010-12 Lisa J. Miner