The things we do I thought, when I heard that someone had said to my daughter we must pollinate our passion fruit ourselves! I mean, I know my quota of devices used by humans to bring about a situation helpful to passion and perhaps, if one is lucky, even pollination! But to do the same to a plant? It all seems so wrong! But then I was brought to my senses by said child as we stood outside wondering whether we would have to get a room for the flagging plant and play music to make the flowers do what should come naturally to them. I mean they even have the word passion in the name! And are used in a number of exotic cocktails, the kind that come with paper umbrellas, and tropical desserts of the kind people eat on their honeymoons!
Passion flower: They get their name from the passion of Christ. The tendrils are the whips, the three stigmas are the three nails, the frill of radial filaments represent the crown of thorns and so on.
To my great relief, I was assured there are no fruit motel chains yet and best of all, there was no kink involved. All I would have to do was stand very close to the flowers, early in the morning, before the wind was up and tickle the anthers on each flower with a brush. Hang on! That is not my idea of no kink!
But wait, there is more…Having tickled the anthers which are the male bits on the flower, I must then proceed to annoy the pistils or the female bits by brushing them too. This transfers the pollen to the pistils and some time in the coming weeks there should be a nice green baby fruit growing from each of the flowers. Now, I don’t know about you, but having to use a brush after a man or anyone else has used it? Not my idea of fun at all! Being subjected to the same by someone else holding the brush! I would rather shave all my hair off before I let that happen. But if that is what the passion fruit needs, who am I to stand in the way of long term happiness? Or the promise of large quantities of fruit in December, January and February. So I went outside, soft sable brush in one hand, Barry White playing on the phone in the other and I did it. It was mildly amusing and naughty as the flowers despite all their alien boldness in looks have shy parts when it comes to fruit making. But I persevered. I was worse than a thirty eight year old woman with a harried mother at a speed date dinner! I brushed and I batted my eyelashes, I spoke in low tones of how good it would be – when I eventually made passion fruit icing, and even said something about Vatsayan(author of the Kamasutra) as I promised to create a special vodka cocktail.
I am now indoors fanning myself. If you should wish to grow passion fruit and want to see what I was up to, you will have to click on the link below. It is an instruction video and you do not have to be 18 to click on the link! The guy looks very vaguely like that actor who played Jack Sparrow..but you probably don’t need that kind of inducement any way.