Other common names: Northern banana passionfruit.
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Why it is a pest plant
Banana passionfruit (Passiflora tripartita and P. tarminiana) is a vigorous, scrambling, smothering plant that climbs up to 10 m high by means of its tendrils. It can smother trees, reducing native biodiversity and its fruit can encourage pest animals sufch as rats. Banana passionfruit grows rapidly from seed, maturing after one year and growing for 15 to 20 years. It produces large sweet fruit containing many seeds that are dispersed by a variety of native and introduced birds, as well as possums, rats and pigs.
How to recognise this pest plant
Both species produce pink tubular flowers throughout the year. The length of the floral tube is shorter, and the flower lobes longer in northern banana passionfruit. The flowers develop into an oval fruit, green at first, turning yellow or orange-yellow when ripe. The fruit contains sweet, edible, orange pulp. The leaves are glossy green, three-lobed toothed and up to 14 cm long.
- Flowers: single, hanging, pink tubular flowers, up to 7cm in diameter. Flower tube 6-8 cm long in northern banana passionfruit and 8-9.5 cm long in banana passionfruit. Flowers January to December.
- Fruit: thin skinned oval fruit, green, turning yellow or orange-yellow when ripe, up to 12cm long by 3cm across. The fruit are sweet with edible pulp and filled with red-black seeds.
- Leaves: the leaves are soft, downy, glossy green, and three-lobed. Lobes are 5-14 cm long (the middle lobe is the longest).
- Stems: densely hairy.
- Habitat: coastal areas, lowland and coastal shrublands and forest margins, light gaps, roadsides, wastelands, farm and orchard hedges and domestic gardens. Prefers forest and shrubland margins and fertile soil.
Blue passion flower (Passiflora caerulea) has five-lobed leaves, non-tubular whitish-purple flowers with purple filaments. Blue passionflower is banned from sale, propagation, distribution or commercial display under the National Pest Plant Accord*.
Responsibility for control
Banana passionfruit is classed as a ‘containment pest’ in the Waikato region. All landowners/occupiers are responsible for the control of banana passionfruit on their property.
Banana passionfruit is banned from sale, propagation, distribution or commercial display nationally under the National Pest Plant Accord*.
How to control banana passionfruit
Hand pull whenever possible or dig plant out at the roots. Cut off above ground or tie stems in air to prevent layering.
The climbing character of the plant means the support plant will also be damaged by the herbicide sprays used. Spray with glyphosate (such as Roundup) plus Penetrant or triclopyr (such as Grazon), or triclopyr/picloram (such as Tordon Brushkiller) only if support plant damage is not an issue.
To avoid damage to supporting plants, cut banana passionfruit at ground level and treat stems with Glyphosate, metsulfuron (such as Escort, Associate) or Vigilant gel ®.
When using herbicides:
- read the instructions on the manufacturer's lable closely
- always wear protective clothing
- always minimise the risk to desirable plants
- contact the supplier for further advice.
After initial control always check area for regrowth and new seedlings, and repeat treatment if necessary.
For further advice contact your nearest biosecurity pest plant contractor on 0800 BIOSECURITY (0800 246 732).
For more information on what we do phone Waikato Regional Council's freephone 0800 800 401.
For more information on pest plants check out the Weedbusters website.
View our Waikato Regional Pest Management Strategy (RPMS).
'What makes a pest a pest? - A guide to Waikato's pest management future' for free from our offices. Pick up, download or order
Pick up or order 'Plant me instead - Plants to use in place of common pest plants' for free from our offices.
Pick up or order the 'National Pest Plant Accord Manual' for $10 from our offices, or view it online for free.
Pick up or order 'Poisonous plants and fungi in New Zealand - A guidfe for parents, schools and child minders' for $15 from our offices.
Although this information has been prepared in good faith from a number of sources believed to be reliable, Waikato Regional Council does not give any warranty that all information contained is accurate or complete, or that advice given will be appropriate in all circumstances.