Name: Bush Passionfruit
Scientific Classification: Passiflora foetida
Alternative Names: wild passionfruit, stinking passionfruit
Native to South America, the bush passionfruit is a climbing vine with a thin stem and broad leaves that are covered in little hairs. During the Wet Season, it produces little smelly flowers that are pale purple-white, and during the Dry Season, the small, round fruits develop with a feathery bract surrounding it and ripen to a rich yellow colour.
While the leaves and unripe green fruit are toxic, the ripe yellow fruit is very much edible. It is full of little black seeds that are covered in a cloudy membrane, they have a tangy taste and smells similar to traditional passionfruit.
On our way out of Cathedral Gorge at the Bungle Bungles, we saw little yellow fruits wrapped in a delicate lacey covering on some vines. Juz stopped in her tracks and said, “This is it! This is bush passionfruit!”
We collected a handful and went back to the car to check the Bush Tucker Man book and make sure we weren’t about to poison ourselves. The taste wasn’t as sweet as what we were expecting but the insides resembled passionfruit – little black seeds coated in a gooey substance.
Disclaimer: We are not bush tucker experts! We have a bush tucker guide and we will only eat wild berries and such once we are 100% confident that it’s safe. We must stress that you should not eat anything until you are also 100% confident and educated that it is safe and non-toxic.