Trials of Passionfruit in the US Virgin Islands

Passionfruit (.Passiflora edulis) is a local tropical fruit used in juice, jelly and ice cream in St. Croix. However, almost all of the juice used for making passion fruit drinks comes from imported concentrate. A field trial was developed to evaluate fifteen passion fruit varieties of red, yellow and red/yellow hybrids in the US Virgin Islands. The passion fruit vines were grown on either a single wire or three wire trellis system. All varieties tended to produce within nine months, with production peaking in October-November. Productioh was greater for some varieties on the three-wire trellis system than a single wire system. During the first two years, multiple varieties were lost due to lack of tolerance to high pH, calcareous soils and St. Croix's climatic conditions. 'Noel's Special', a yellow selection from Hawaii, had a deep orange pulp and was a consistent producer. The fresh juice or all varieties was in a range between pH 2-3. Four varieties: 'Noel's Special', 'Panama Gold', 'Rainforest', and 'TWZ hybrid' are recommended for passion fruit growers. A single-wire trellis system can be as productive as a three-wire system and provide the added advantage of lower installation cost and wind tolerance.

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 Record created 2017-04-18, last modified 2018-04-02

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