Still called Blackwood, "Passion Fruit" and, by mistake, "Apple-calabash", the Maracudja is a vigorous vine, which can reach up to 15 m in length, with leaves generally deeply lobed. This Liana relates to its support by tendrils. Originally from the South of Brazil, the Maracudja is cultivated in Martinique for its fruit, which gives an excellent juice.
Its introduction into our islands is vague
Although the R.P. Du Tertre described two plants under the names of 'Passion flower' and of 'Blackwood', we ask ourselves the question of whether it was actually of the Maracudja. The description of the Reverend Father indeed, rather reminiscent of the Apple-calabash, which is also indigenous but rare nowadays. The is often confused with the Maracudja wrongly.
Thirty years later, father Labat described under the name of "Apples of lianas", the fruit of a vine that bears flowers violet at their ends, much like bells of an inch in diameter, and about as much height, composed of fairly large nets, the ends of which are purple color; they leave a yellow background, in the middle of which rises a pistil of same color, who has a little figure of a hammer, which is responsible for three little buttons that were that of a nail; "that's what did give this the name of flower of Passion? ''
This more precise description, resembling that of the Maracudja, may suggest that there was in our islands from the end of the 17th century.
A popular fruit for rats
It is well known in Martinique, where there's a Maracudjas, there are snakes. This is simply due to the fact that rats are attracted by the Maracudja and that the snakes are looking to eat rats. This is the reason why, for a long time, the inhabitants of Martinique systematically destroyed every Maracudja feet that grew near their home.
It all even remarkable until father Labat has already realized this: "rats are extremely fond, they lack never come under this plant, especially when the fruit is ripe, and therefore attract snakes...". ». And he added: "two nuisances me soon forced to rid me of these vines... '. ».
It is certainly with regret that father Labat had to destroy them, because, according to him, "this fruit is very good for chest. It is refreshing and good smell. It is given to patients... ».
Nowadays, the Maracudja is mainly used in the manufacture of juice, very consumed, especially in Martinique. This fruit is also eaten fresh. To do this, simply do with teeth or a knife, a small opening in one end.