Sunday, April 10, 2011

Passion-Flower Family Plant: Giant Granadilla (Passiflora quadrangularis)

Passiflora quadrangularis_Markisa Besar_Erbis_Giant Granadila 01
The Giant Granadilla, Giant Tumbo or Badea, Passiflora quadrangularis, is the largest of the passionfruits, plants of the genus Passiflora. Passiflora quadrangularis (synonym Passiflora macrocarpa M.T. Mast.), is often called merely granadilla, or parcha, Spanish names loosely applied to various related species; or it may be distinguished as granadilla real, grandadilla grande, parcha granadina or parcha de Guinea. In El Salvador, it is known as granadilla de fresco or granadilla para refrescos; in parts of Colombia, it is badea or corvejo; in the State of Tachira, Venezuela, badea; in Bolivia, granadilla real or sandía de Pasión. In Brazil, it is maracuya-acu, maracuja-assu, maracuja silvestre, maracuya grande, maracuja suspiro, maracuja mamao, or maracuja de caiena. In Surinam, it is grote or groote markoesa; in Peru and Ecuador, tumbo or tambo. In the Philippines, its local names are parola, kasaflora, and square-stemmed passion flower. To Indonesians, it is familiar as markiza, markoesa, markeesa, manesa, markisa, markisa besar, erbis, gondes, and to the Malays, timun belanda, marquesa or mentimun. In Thailand, it is su-khontha-rot; in Vietnam, dua gan tay, or barbadine, the French name.

It is a perennial native of Tropical America, having smooth, cordate, ovate or acuminate leaves; petioles bearing from 4 to 6 glands; an emetic and narcotic root; scented flowers; and a large, oblong fruit, containing numerous seeds, imbedded in a subacid edible pulp.

Food Uses
The flesh of the ripe fruit, with the inner skin removed, is cut up and added to papaya, pineapple and banana slices in fruit salads, seasoned with lemon or lime juice. It is cooked with sugar and eaten as dessert, or is canned in sirup; sometimes candied; but it is so bland that it needs added flavoring. In Indonesia, the flesh and arils are eaten together with sugar and shaved ice. Australians add a little orange juice and usually serve the dish with cream. They also use the stewed flesh and raw arils together as pie filling. The whole arils can be eaten raw without removing the seeds.
Jelly can be made from the unpeeled flesh boiled for 2 hours and the pulp simmered separately. The juice strained from both is combined and, with added sugar and lemon juice, is boiled until it jells.
The pulp (arils) yields a most agreeable juice for cold drinks. It is bottled in Indonesia and served in restaurants. Wine is made in Australia by mashing several of the whole ripe fruits, adding sugar and warm water and allowing the mix to ferment for 3 weeks, adding 2 pints of brandy, and letting stand for 9 to 12 months.
The young, unripe fruit may be steamed or boiled and served as a vegetable, or may be cut up, breaded and cooked in butter with milk, pepper and nutmeg. In Java ripe fruits are scarce because of squirrels and other predators.
The root of old vines is baked and eaten in Jamaica as a substitute for yam.

Medicinal Uses
It is known as Barbadine in Trinidad. A tea is made from the leaves which is used for high blood pressure and diabetes. A drink and ice-cream are made from the fruit.
The Giant Granadilla fruit is valued in the tropics as antiscorbutic and stomachic. In Brazil, the flesh is prescribed as a sedative to relieve nervous headache, asthma, diarrhea, dysentery, neurasthenia and insomnia. The seeds contain a cardiotonic principle, are sedative, and, in large doses, narcotic. The leaf decoction is a vermifuge and is used for bathing skin afflictions. Leaf poultices are applied in liver complaints. The root is employed as an emetic, diuretic and vermifuge. Powdered and mixed with oil, it is applied as a soothing poultice.
Passiflora quadrangularis, with an oblong very flavorful fruit, having many medicinal properties for the treatment of cholesterol. The root is poisonous and it is used to eliminate the intestinal worms. in its composition serotonin has been discovered, a potent neurotransmitter, necessary for the good state of the nervous system and whose deficiencies are responsible for pathologies like depression, certain types of obesity, obsessive behaviors, insomnia, migraines, etc. It is the plant that contains the highest quantity of niacin.

The leaves, skin and immature seeds contain a cyanogenic glycoside. The pulp contains passiflorine and, if indulged in excessively, causes lethargy and somnolence. The raw root is said to be emetic, narcotic and poisonous.

Classification of Medicinal Plant: Giant Granadilla (Passiflora quadrangularis)
Kingdom Plantae Haeckel, 1866 - plants
Phylum Tracheophyta Sinnott, 1935 ex Cavalier-Smith, 1998 - vascular plants
Class Magnoliopsida Brongniart, 1843 - dicotyledons
(unranked) eudicots
(unranked) Rosids
Order Malpighiales C. Martius, 1835
Family Passifloraceae A.L. de Jussieu ex Roussel, 1806, nom. cons. - passion-flower family
Subfamily Passifloroideae (A.L. de Jussieu ex Roussel, 1806) Burnett, 1835
Genus Passiflora C. Linnaeus, 1753 - passionflower
Species Passiflora quadrangularis Linnaeus - giant granadilla

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Photos of Giant Granadilla (Passiflora quadrangularis) flowers were taken using a camera phone, Sony Ericsson K800i, in Ponorogo, East Java, Indonesia(in my father-in-law’s front yard).

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