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How to Harvest & Eat Passion Flower

passion flower image by Pat Lalli from Fotolia.com

Most wait for the passion vine to bear fruit before harvesting the vines, but the flowers also make an edible garnish for desserts and drinks. According to the University of Florida, the purple variety of passion fruit vine begins to flower in the spring and stops flowering during the heat of the summer. If you wish to harvest your flowers before they become fruit, you need to pull them from the vine during the flowering of the late spring and early summer, but this time might differ depending on your part of the country.

Look for wide open passion flowers, and harvest in the morning after the dew has evaporated.

Snip individual flowers from the vine with the shears, cutting the stem of the flower off at the vine.

Cut the base of the stem from the back of the passion flower.

passion flower image by Alison Bowden from Fotolia.com

Pull the pistils, stamens and sepals of the passion flowers, using your fingers to pick them from the center of the flower.

Rinse and pat dry the passion flowers before adding them as a garnish for desserts or drinks.

Use whole flower heads in salads to add a mild, vegetal flavor. Optionally, steep the flower heads in hot chocolate or tea for five to 10 minutes to create a passion fruit beverage.

Passion Flower Pod?

Native to South America, this fast-growing vine has colorful white and purple flowers followed by a purple fruit that has a hard covering. but some growers hand-pollinate the flowers. Yellow fruits are larger, sweeter and less acid, have more juice and a richer aroma and flavor. Flowers have more intense coloration, especially the purple central color. This is the most cold-hardy of the passion flowers, growing in USDA zones 5 through 9. Native to the Eastern United States, the vine grows 6 to 8 feet in a season and blooms from July to September with large fragrant 2 1/2 inch white and lavender flowers. Use the vines as a screen or to cover a trellis. To avoid bruising and possible fungal infection from contact with the soil, pick the fruits from the vines just before they are fully ripe. Maypop fruits are eaten fresh or made into jelly.

Warning

Only harvest and eat the flowers from a passion fruit vine if no pesticides or herbicides have been used on the plant.

Avoid harvesting flowers infested with insects or infected by disease.

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