Frost hardy fruiting Passiflora tarminiana / mollissima

Hello there!
I’ve been looking for a while some more hardy edible passion fruits, apart the obvious Passiflora incarnata - maypop, for USDA zone 7a-ish / continental climate zones.
According to various sources I was able to gather over the years, Passiflora tarminiana is native in the Andes, found in elevated places up to 3000 meters / 9800 feet.
Up to date, while people from around the Andes (such as Colombia and Peru) have mentioned that hardy Passiflora tarminianas do exist, I’ve yet to see a living specimen in its natural habitat, or even better to acquire any seeds.
So my questions here would be:
Has anyone read any additional information regarding such hardy tarminianas? If yes, what’s the outmost frost they have been able to withstand and fruit?
I don’t know any Spanish in order to perform a proper google search in Spanish speaking communities and find any additional information, but I do hope that you fellows could know more about on the subject.
You may also read further evidence on the following link:

1 Like

Tarminiana and mollissima are thought to be different species.
Read more about it for example here

Tarminiana / mollissima are from the tacsonia group of passiflora.
If grown a few out of that group. Most tend to not tolerate frost. or only the tiniest amount. And are also sensitive to heat. (days above 30c they get sad)
They also tend to be more sensitive to roots drying out. Where other passiflora can usualy handle you forgetting to water them. Tacsonia’s just die.

However you picked one of the stongest out of the tacsonia group. And your in 9b so you should not have that many frostst

Mulching them helps for multiple reasons.

Although i have eaten passionfruits if grown myself. None of them id consider tasty. Im experimenting with some frost hardyer (but not truely frost hardy) species and hybrids to get tasty edible fruit.

If written about it here

Hello there Oscar! I stumble upon your previous thread regarding the most resilient varieties and cultivars.
Since I’m solely interested for fruiting passifloras, I haven’t read much upon the more ornamental species.
However, I can tell you that there are several hardy caerulea fruiting vines, much more tolerant to frost than many think so.
I’m part of an exotic plants group in facebook and we do have several members in northern Greece who grow caeruleas with several frost nights bellow -15c, yet they do fruit the same year. The key here is having a proper microclimate along some other key factors such as sufficient organic mulch, Effective Microorganisms but it’s very feasible to do so never the less.
While this is an English speaking community, I hope people from those areas (such as elevated parts of Andes) could shed some light on the subject. I’d like to think that a rare frost hardy tarminiana ecotype does exists, but hasn’t been widespread yet.

Hello Nikolaos.

The reply i linked above (except for the photo’s) is soley about tasty fruiting varieties. And goes into other aspects besides just frost hardnynes that are also inportant to getting fruit.

Caerulea is quite hardy. although micro climate and especial soil draining are usualy more inportant that a degree more or less of frost.
The Caerulea’s fruit well for me. And even ripen well to a good sweetness. The aroma though is offputting.

However since your in zone 9B you could look at a lot of tasty edible species.
normal Edulis (or flavicarpa) could be a possibility. Thats the one you usualy find in the grocery store. (the dark purple schriveled one)
Or you could have a look at my link for some more frost hardy possibility’s

Cheers for the input Oscar, I do grow P. edulis as well as I have planned to grow other species such as alata, but I’d like to see if I could find any viable information for the frost hardy tarminiana for a friend’s farm in Tripoli, Greece. Incarnata is on the list too.

you could have a look at


I’m wondering if you had any luck on chasing this info down?

I came searching for any info to help shed light on the why our mollissima is perpetually unhappy (leaves sprout but then shed; generally slow growth). We have it in a very exposed (ie sunny and windy) location in zone 10a, and it’s doing noticeably worse than the parent plant at our neighbor’s place down the road. Her vine is in a slightly more protected area.

Considering the conditions this plant faces in its native range, it’s hard for me to believe the conditions here are too extreme. I’m wondering if perhaps there’s another issue (disease, soil, etc).

I should probably start a new thread on this, but thought it might be good to plug into some mollissima-curious folks first! Thanks in advance if you have any thoughts

PS If you have any sources in Spanish or Portuguese that you’d like help with, I can take a look!

Hello there!
I did tried to locate people living close to their natural habitat, but without any fruition so far…
All those I was able to be in contact with, they were either unfamiliar or reluctant to help.
As those Passifloras go in several elevated areas, such as the Andes, I’m more than certain that a few frost hardy ecotypes should exist.
Since several peculiar and unusual plants have been discovered throughout the ages, I won’t lose faith for this one.
In regards of the issues you’re facing with your own, I highly suggest to apply some Effective Microorganisms and mycorrhizae. They’re widely available and do wield amazing results.