Still as passionate as ever, after all these years…
Clarence Walter Kelly was the first in Australia to graft passionfruit vines, in 1921. With two acres dedicated to passionfruit on the family farm in Moorabbin, Vic, Clary perfected the technique of grafting the popular black passionfruit vine onto a hardier rootstock, creating a plant that was less susceptible to disease, pests and frosts, and a more prolific fruiter.
When he and his wife Florence passed away in the 1970s, the business was continued by their loyal staff. Under its new and current ownership, the nursery moved to Heatherton in the 1980s, and has continued to expand. Several passionfruit varieties have been added to the range, as well as various other fruiting plants. Nellie Kelly products are readily available across Australia through major chains and leading local nurseries.
Nellie Kelly I Love You is a song, from the 1940 movie Little Nellie Kelly, starring Judy Garland in the eponymous role. Clary and Florence loved the song, and adopted it as the name for their soon-to-be famous fruit.
By the 1950s, Nellie Kelly passionfruit vines were sold and grown Australia-wide. On the advice of Sir Norman Coles, in 1958 Clary registered the name ‘Nellie Kelly’, making it one of the first plants in Australia to be trademarked.
Nellie Kelly is guided by organic farming principles, choosing natural pest control, weed control and fertilisers wherever possible. We work to protect the health and well-being of current and future generations, as well as the environment.
Nellie Kelly Passionfruit Nurseries has been helping gardeners grow edibles all over Australia since 1921. From our famous grafted passionfruit vines to fiery hot chillies, Nellie Kelly is passionate about premium quality plants.