Click on images to enlarge
infestation (Photo: Sheldon Navie)
creeping habit (Photo: Sheldon Navie)
three-lobed leaves (Photo: Sheldon Navie)
plants occasionally have entire leaves (Photo: Forest and Kim Starr, USGS)
close-up of leaf (Photo: Sheldon Navie)
broader leaf with narrow lobes (Photo: Sheldon Navie)
slightly hairy leaf underside and coiled tendrils (Photo: Sheldon Navie)
close-up of two small glands on the leaf stalk (Photo: Sheldon Navie)
flower and flower buds (Photo: Sheldon Navie)
close-up of flower (Photo: Sheldon Navie)
immature and mature fruit (Photo: Sheldon Navie)
close-up of dried seeds with fleshy arils removed (Photo: Steve Hurst at USDA PLANTS Database)
seedling (Photo: Sheldon Navie)
Passiflora suberosa L.
Passiflora suberosa L. var. minima Mast.
cork passionflower, cork-bark passion flower, cork-barked passion flower, cork-barked passionflower, corkstem passionflower, corky passion flower, corky passion vine, corky passionflower, corky passionfruit, corky stem passion vine, corky-stem passionflower, corky-stemmed passionflower, devil's pumpkin, indigo berry, pointed leaf passionfruit, small passionfruit, wild passionfruit
Native to south-eastern USA (i.e. Florida and Texas), Mexico, Central America (i.e. Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Panama), the Caribbean and tropical South America (i.e. French Guiana, Guyana, Surinam, Venezuela, Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, northern Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay).
Widely naturalised in the northern and eastern parts of Australia (i.e. in northern and eastern Queensland, in the north-western parts of the Northern Territory, and in the coastal districts of northern and central New South Wales).
- a climber or creeper developing a corky bark at the bases of its older stems.
- its alternately arranged leaves are usually have three pointed lobes.
- its small flowers (about 1.5 cm across) are greenish or whitish in colour.
- its fruit are small bluish-black or purplish-black berries (about 1-1.5 cm across).
Stems and Leaves
The younger stems are round or sometimes angular in shape, becoming corky at the base with age. They grow up to about 6 m in length and produce tendrils in the leaf forks. These stems vary from being hairless (i.e. glabrous) to sparsely or densely hairy (i.e. pubescent).
The leaves are alternately arranged along the stems and borne on stalks (i.e. petioles) 0.5-4 cm long. The leaf blades (3-11 cm long and 4-12 cm wide) usually have three pointed lobes, but occasionally they have entire margins. At the base of the leaf stalk, there is an unbranched tendril and a small linear appendage (i.e. a stipule) 4-8 mm long.
Flowers and Fruit
The small flowers (15-25 mm across) are borne singly in the leaf forks (i.e. axils) on stalks (i.e. pedicels) 1.5-2.5 cm long. They are usually pale greenish or whitish in colour and do not have any petals. However, they have six sepals which may be mistaken for petals and five prominent stamens. They also have an ovary with three styles that are topped with large stigmas. Flowering occurs throughout most of the year.
The fruit are rounded berries (about 1-1.5 cm across) and turn from green to bluish-black or purplish-black as they mature. They contain numerous wrinkled seeds (3-4 mm long).
Reproduction and Dispersal
Corky passion vine (Passiflora suberosa) can be distinguished from two other similar species, white passion flower (Passiflora subpeltata ) and stinking passion vine (Passiflora foetida ), by its leaves. White passion flower (Passiflora subpeltata ) has hairless leaves with three rounded lobes and stinking passion vine (Passiflora foetida ) has hairy leaves with three pointed lobes, while corky passion vine (Passiflora suberosa) has hairless leaves with three pointed lobes. The flowers and fruit of corky passion vine (Passiflora suberosa) are also much smaller than those of the other species.
Not declared or considered noxious by any state government authorities.
For information on the management of this species see the following resources:
- the Biosecurity Queensland Fact Sheet on this species, which is available online at http://www.dpi.qld.gov.au.
Anonymous (2006). Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/index.pl. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, National Genetic Resources Program, Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Beltsville, Maryland, USA.
Anonymous (2006). Corky passionflower. Passiflora suberosa. Natural Resources and Water Facts - pest series, PP75. The State of Queensland (Department of Natural Resources and Water), Brisbane, Queensland.
Auld, B.A. and Medd, R.W. (1996). Weeds: An Illustrated Botanical Guide to Weeds of Australia. Inkata Press, Sydney, New South Wales.
Batianoff, G.N. and Butler, D.W. (2002). Assessment of invasive naturalized plants in south-east Queensland. Plant Protection Quarterly 17: 27-34.
Bostock, P.D. and Holland, A.E. (2007). Census of the Queensland Flora 2007. Queensland Herbarium, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Brisbane, Queensland.
Cowie, I. and Kerrigan, R. (2007). Introduced Flora of the Northern Territory. http://www.nt.gov.au/nreta/wildlife/plants/pdf/intro_flora_checklist.pdf. Department of Natural Resources, Environment and The Arts, Northern Territory.
Harden, G.J. (2007). Passiflora suberosa L. PlantNET - The Plant Information Network System of Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney, Australia. http://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au. Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney, New South Wales.
Kerrigan, R.A. and Albrecht, D.E. (2007). Checklist of NT Vascular Plant Species. http://www.nt.gov.au/nreta/wildlife/plants/pdf/family_checklist.pdf. Department of Natural Resources, Environment and The Arts, Northern Territory.
Kleinschmidt, H.E., Holland, A. and Simpson, P. (1996). Suburban Weeds. 3rd Edition. Department of Primary Industries, Brisbane, Queensland.
Navie, S.C., Markwell, B., Playford, J. and Adkins, S.W. (2002). Suburban and Environmental Weeds: an interactive identification and information system. CD-ROM. The University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Queensland.
Stanley, T.E. and Ross, E.M. (1986). Flora of South-eastern Queensland. Volume 2. Department of Primary Industries, Brisbane, Queensland.