T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Passiflora tripartita var. mollissima

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Spermatophyta
Subphylum: Angiospermae
Class: Dicotyledonae
Order: Violales
Family: Passifloraceae
Genus: Passiflora
Species: Passiflora tripartita var. mollissima
Common name: Banana passionfruit

Passiflora tripartita var. mollissima is a vigorous vine with an invasive habit of smothering of existing vegetation. It had 3-lobed leaves have serrated margins and are up to 14 cm long. They are densely tomentose on the underside.
The flowers which appear throughout the year have a long hypanthium and short pink petals. The fruits are up to 10cm long, first green and then ripening to an orange yellow colour. This invasive vine is found on forest margins, on roadsides and wastelands.

Historical confusion over the taxonomy of this and its close relatives makes earlier reports on both distribution and invasiveness hard to interpret. For example, the species previously known in Hawaii as Passiflora mollissima is now P. tarminiana (HEAR, 2012) and in New Zealand P. mollissima is now regarded as P. tripartita var. mollissima, although P. tripartita var. azuayensis also occurs there, as does P. tarminiana, which was previously known as P. mixta (Heenan and Sykes 2003). The paragraph above is courtesy of the Invasive Species Compendium http://www.cabi.org