Scientific Name: Passiflora edulis f. flavicarpa
Synonym: Passiflora edulis var. flavicarpa
Common Names: Liliko'i, Lilikoi, Yellow Passionfruit, Yellow Passion Fruit
Duration: Perennial (short-lived)
Growth Habit: Vine
Hawaii Native Status: Introduced. This naturalized ornamental garden plant and food plant is native to the Amazon region in Brazil.
Flower Color: White to tinged purple
Flowering Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
Height: To 20 feet (6 m) long
Description: The unusual flowers are up to 3 1/2 inches (9 cm) across and have a light green center, long, white, curly filaments, and 10 white tepals (5 petals and 5 petal-like sepals) with dark purple at their base. The flowers are followed by round to egg-shaped, up to 3 1/2 inch (9 cm) in diameter, yellow fruit with soft, loose, juicy, yellow to orange pulp surrounding black seeds. The leaves are shiny, green, alternate, and deeply 3-lobed with 3 egg-shaped, saw-toothed lobes. The stems have coiling tendrils and are slender, green at the tips, and woody at the base. These plants can grow rampantly and smother small trees and shrubs.
Liliko'i grows in sunny locations in low to middle elevation, mesic (moderately wet) forests and shrublands.
Purple Granadilla (Passiflora edulis) has smaller, sweet, dull purple fruit, while Liliko'i (P. edulis f. flavicarpa) has larger, tart, yellow fruit and is more common here in Hawaii.
Butterfly Plant – Liliko'i is a larval food plant for Gulf Fritillary (Agraulis vanillae) butterflies.
Edible – The tart, highly flavorful fruit pulp is edible either raw or cooked. It has a musky, somewhat guava-like fragrance and is quite delicious. The pulp can be eaten fresh along with the seeds or strained and made into juice or syrup for flavoring deserts. Here in Hawaii, Liliko'i is commonly used to flavor shave ice, a popular Hawaiian treat.
Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Family: Passifloraceae – Passion-flower family
Genus: Passiflora L. – passionflower
Species: Passiflora edulis Sims – purple granadilla
Form: Passiflora edulis Sims f. flavicarpa O. Deg. – yellow passionfruit
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