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Scientific Name
Synonyms
Common Names
Family
Origin
Naturalised Distribution
Cultivation
Habitat
Distinguishing Features
Habit
Stems and Leaves
Flowers and Fruit
Reproduction and Dispersal
Impacts
Legislation
Management
Sources
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Click on images to enlarge


infestation (Photo: Trevor James)


climbing habit (Photo: Trevor James)


creeping habit with narrower leaves (Photo: Forest and Kim Starr, USGS)


close-up of three-lobed leaf (Photo: Trevor James)


close-up of flower bud and coiled tendril (Photo: Trevor James)


pale pink flower (Photo: Trevor James)


flower from side-on showing long floral tube and two basal bracts (Photo: Trevor James)


close-up of yellow stamens, hairy ovary and styles topped with green stigmas (Photo: Trevor James)


young fruit (Photo: Trevor James)


mature fruit with pulp and seeds (Photo: Forest and Kim Starr, USGS)


seedlings (Photo: Forest and Kim Starr, USGS)


the very similar Passiflora tripartita var. mollissima (Photo: Trevor James)

Banana passionfruit
Passiflora tarminiana

Scientific Name

Passiflora tarminiana Coppens & V.E. Barney

Synonyms

Passiflora mollissima (Kunth) L.H. Bailey (misapplied)

Common Names

banana passion flower, banana passion fruit, banana passion vine, banana passionflower, banana passion-fruit, banana passionfruit, banana poka, passion-flower vine, pink banana passionfruit

Family

Passifloraceae

Origin

Native to tropical South America (i.e. Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela).

Naturalised Distribution

This species is becoming widely naturalised in south-eastern Australia (i.e. it is naturalised in the coastal districts of eastern New South Wales, in Tasmania, in southern Victoria and in south-eastern South Australia). Also sparingly naturalised in south-eastern Queensland.

Naturalised overseas in eastern Africa, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Hawaii, New Zealand and on La R union.

Cultivation

This species is cultivated, particularly in temperate regions, for its showy flowers as well as its edible fruit.

Habitat

A weed of watercourses (i.e. riparian areas), closed forests, forest margins, open woodlands, waste areas and plantation crops in temperate and occasionally also sub-tropical regions.

Distinguishing Features

Habit

A vigorous climbing plant growing up to 20 m into the forest canopy, or scrambling over lower vegetation.

Stems and Leaves

Its younger stems are rounded (i.e. terete) and hairy (i.e. pubescent). Coiled tendrils are borne in the leaf forks (i.e. axils).

The alternately arranged leaves (7-16 cm long) are deeply three-lobed and borne on hairy stalks (i.e. pubescent petioles) 1.5-4 cm long. They have toothed (i.e. serrate) margins and the lobes are pointed (i.e. acuminate). Their upper surfaces are hairless or almost hairless (i.e. glabrous or sparsely pubescent), while their undersides are softly hairy (i.e. pubescent).

Flowers and Fruit

The large pale pink flowers (about 6 cm across and 9-10 cm long) are borne singly in the leaf forks on stalks (i.e. peduncles) 3-10 cm long. These flowers hang downwards (i.e. they are pendent) and at the base of the each flower are a pair of bracts (3-4 cm long and 2-3 cm wide) that can be mistaken for sepals. The five sepals and five petals are all very similar in size (4.5-6 cm long and 1.2-2.5 cm wide) and colour. Their bases are joined together, forming a very long and narrow greenish-coloured floral tube (i.e. hypanthium) 6-8 cm long and 7-10 mm wide. Each flower also has five stamens and a hairy ovary topped with three white styles ending in green stigmas. Flowering can occur throughout the year.

The fruit is an elongated or oval (i.e. ellipsoid) berry that turns from green to yellow or pale orange in colour as it matures. These fruit (7-14 cm long and 3.5-4.5 cm wide) are hairy (i.e. pubescent) when young and contain numerous seeds in an orange-coloured pulp. These seeds are reddish-brown when dry with a patterned surface texture (i.e. they are reticulate).

Reproduction and Dispersal

This species reproduces mainly by seed, which are dispersed by birds and other animals (e.g. pigs and foxes) that eat the fruit.

Impacts

Banana passionfruit (Passiflora tarminiana) is regarded as an environmental weed in Victoria, Tasmania and New South Wales and as a potential environmental weed or "sleeper weed " in other parts of southern Australia.

Legislation

Not declared or considered noxious by any state government authorities.

Management

For information on the management of this species see the following resources:

Sources

Anonymous (2005). National List of Naturalised Invasive and Potentially Invasive Garden Plants. Version 1.1. World Wildlife Fund - Australia (WWF Australia).

Anonymous (2007). Weeds Australia. http://www.weeds.org.au. National Weeds Strategy Executive Committee, Launceston, Tasmania.

Barker, B., Barker, R., Jessop, J. and Vonow, H. (2005). Census of South Australian Vascular Plants. Fifth Edition. The Botanic Gardens of Adelaide and State Herbarium, Government of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia.

Blood, K. (2001). Environmental Weeds: a field guide for SE Australia. C.H. Jerram and Associates - Science Publishers, Mt. Waverley, Victoria.

Bostock, P.D. and Holland, A.E. (2007). Census of the Queensland Flora 2007. Queensland Herbarium, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Brisbane, Queensland.

Buchanan, A.M. (2007). A Census of the Vascular Plants of Tasmania and Index to The Student s Flora of Tasmania. Web Edition for 2007. http://www.tmag.tas.gov.au/Herbarium/TasVascPlants.pdf. Tasmanian Herbarium, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG), Hobart, Tasmania.

Coppens d'Eeckenbrugge, G., Barney, V.E., Jorgensen, P.M. and MacDougal, J.M. (2001). Passiflora tarminiana, a new cultivated species of Passiflora subgenus Tacsonia. Novon 11: 8-15.

Csurhes, S. and Edwards, R. (1998). Potential Environmental Weeds in Australia: candidate species for preventative control. Biodiversity Group, Environment Australia, Canberra, Australia.

Harden, G.J. and Wilson, P. (2007). Passiflora tarminiana Coppens & V.Barney. 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.

Miles, J. (2007). Banana passionfruit (Passiflora mollissima). South Coast Weeds. http://www.esc.nsw.gov.au/Weeds/index.asp.

Walsh, N.G. and Stajsic, V. (2007). A Census of the Vascular Plants of Victoria. Eighth Edition. National Herbarium of Victoria, South Yarra, Victoria.