Gloria O’Neill shows off the giant passionfruit growing on a vine in her backyard garden at Wollongbar. The fruit, weighing around half a kilogram at present, is pictured with an average-sized passionfruit.
Gloria O’Neill shows off the giant passionfruit growing on a vine in her backyard garden at Wollongbar. The fruit, weighing around half a kilogram at present, is pictured with an average-sized passionfruit. Cathy Adams

Super-sized passionfruit

THERE must be something in the water at John and Gloria O’Neill’s Wollongbar property.

Most passionfruit grow to about the size of an egg.

But there’s one growing on a vine at the back of their garden which, amazingly, is the size of a large mango – and it’s not even ripe yet.

“We had a tank put in for watering the garden, so it could be that. Or the soil,” Mrs O’Neill said.

“John noticed the passionfruit first and he said to me, ‘you’ve got a pretty big one over there’.

“I’ve never seen one this big before.”

The passionfruit is still green, but it already weighs in at almost half a kilogram.

Mrs O’Neill said it would probably get even bigger before it was ready to eat.

“I guess we will eat it – we’ll have to, just so we can see what it’s like,” she said.

“I make passionfruit and lemon tarts, and John loves them.”

Mrs O’Neill said the passionfruit vine was only about a year old, and had already yielded plenty of fruit.

In fact, she gets so many she has to give them away.

“I don’t really know what I’m doing. I have no idea how to grow passionfruit,” she said.

“When we planted this vine we put some livers in the soil because we were told it acts like blood and bone.

“Apart from that, I just water it and put a bit of fertiliser on it every now and then.

“It’s had hundreds of flowers lately, but they all just drop off.”

Keen gardeners looking to try their luck at growing their own monstrous passionfruit should try the brand Mrs O’Neill has planted – the Big Bopper.

According to the Australian Passionfruit Industry Association, the average size of a passionfruit is about 4-6cm in diameter.

Mrs O’Neill’s fruit has a diameter of about 15cm, but it’s still growing.

“It’s amazing,” she said.

“I’ve never seen anything like it, so we just wanted to show people.”



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