Illustrated Guide to
of New Zealand
(formerly Passiflora mollissima or Passiflora
passion-fruit, northern banana passion-fruit
Weeds of New Zealand
by Ian Popay, Paul Champion & Trevor James
ISBN 0 473 09760 5
by kind permission of the
Zealand Plant Protection Society
Publication or other use of images or descriptive
text on these pages is unauthorised unless written permission is
obtained from the authors and publisher.
of the publication Common Weeds of New Zealand must always
Available from Touchwood
A large, vigorous,
scrambling, smothering, evergreen perennial vine climbing up to
10 m high by means of its tendrils. The flowers are large and pink.
Fruits are green, ripening to long, thin yellow passion-fruits.
- Flowers Hanging
singly, pink, up to 7 cm in diameter. Flower tube 80-95 mm long,
long in relation to perianth lobes. Flowers Jan-Dec.
- Fruit Green,
turning yellow when ripe, up to 12 cm long by 3 cm across, thin-skinned,
sweet, with orange edible pulp.
- Leaves Three-lobed
with lobes 5-14 cm long, middle lobe the largest, toothed. Toothed
kidney-shaped stipules up to 30 mm wide with a tapering, awl-shaped
- Stems Densely
hairy. Young shoots are weakly-angled.
Hedges, trees, plantations,
forest margins and waste places.
var. mollissima (formerly Passiflora mollissima)
has upper leaf surfaces moderately to densely covered in short
hairs, and is found in scattered NI localities, especially in
Wellington, and in Marlborough and Nelson in SI. Passiflora
tripartita var. azuayensis (formerly Passiflora
mixta) has upper leaf surfaces hairless or almost so, and
is most commonly found in Wellington, Canterbury and Otago. Both
originally from tropical South America.
also previously classified as Passiflora mixta, is commonest
in northern NI and is similar to Passiflora tripartita,
but with small, deciduous stipules, a shorter floral tube, longer
petal/sepal lobes, and spindle-shaped fruit. It is also less hairy
and has paler pink flowers. True Passiflora mixta is
only known from the Waitakere Ranges in western Auckland and one
site in Marlborough. This species has a hairy floral tube and
salmon-pink flowers. Blue passion-flower (Passiflora caerulea)
has five-lobed leaves, non-tubular white flowers with a ring of
purple filaments, up to 9 cm across, and round yellow fruit up
to 9 cm in diameter. It occurs on forest margins, scrub and hedgerows
from North Auckland to coastal Otago.
and northern banana passion-fruit are listed on the National
Pest Plant Accord (see Introduction for details). Both banana
passion-fruit and blue passion-flower are subject to Pest Plant
Management Strategies in several regions of NZ. Details are available
from individual regional councils or unitary authorities.
of botanical name
(Lat.) = passion flower; tripartita (Lat.) = having three
parts; mollissima (Lat.) = very soft; azuayensis
from Azuay, a province in southern central Ecuador.