Several people were able to successfully name this plant, on the blog and Facebook.
Passion fruit is native to South America. I found it here in Kenya growing in the AMPATH demonstration garden. Apparently, AMPATH once had a passion fruit juice factory they operated as an income-generating activity, but it has since closed. You can find a story on the project here.
The Purdue horticulture web site tells me "Commercial culture of purple passionfruit was begun in Kenya in 1933 and was expanded in 1960, when the crop was also introduced into Uganda for commercial production. In both countries, the large plantations were devastated several times by easily-spread diseases and pests. It became necessary to abandon them in favor of small and isolated plantings which could be better protected."
According to Wikipedia, passion fruit was named after the Passion of the Christ:
The name was given by missionaries because the parts of the flower seemed reminiscent of the torture (the Passion) of Christ prior to his crucifixion:
- The three stigmas reflect the three nails in Jesus's hands and feet.
- The threads of the passion flower resemble the Crown of Thorns.
- The vine's tendrils are likened to the whips.
- The five anthers represented the five wounds.
- The ten petals and sepals regarded to resemble the Apostles (excluding Judas and Peter).
- The purple petals representing the purple robe used to mock Jesus' claim to kingship (Mt. 27:28)