Banana passionfruit

Common name:  Banana passionfruit
Scientific name:  Passiflora tripartita var mollissima, Passiflora tripartita var azuayansis, Passiflora tarminiana, Passiflora pinnatistipula, Passiflora x rosea, Passiflora caerulea
Management programme:  Site-led

Why is it a pest?

Banana passionfruit only has pest status in our site-led programmes in Dunedin. It may produce yummy fruit, but it can smother other plants and take over the canopy (the top layer of a forest). It grows super-fast and its stems will layer over each other making it hard for anything else to get through. Banana passionfruit can really damage the biodiversity values in our site-led programmes.

What does it look like?

There are lots of species of banana passionfruit that come under this common name. All of them look and act pretty much the same that’s why we’ve included all of them that use this common name. They are climbing vines that can grow to be up to 10m tall. They are mostly found in the outskirts of forests and shrublands as well as stream sides, coastline cliffs, sand dunes and in our gardens. Their leaves come in sets of three with the middle being the longest. They produce large pink tube-like flowers at all times of the year. These develop into oval fruit that turn yellow to orange yellow when they’re ripe. The fruit can be eaten, and the seeds are spread by animals, birds and people.

When can I spot it best?

Banana passionfruit is easiest to spot by its large pink flowers described above. It can flower any time of year but most commonly throughout spring and summer.

What are the rules?

There are no rules for landowners in Otago regarding banana passionfruit. Under Otago’s pest plan, banana passionfruit is only classified as a pest in the site-led areas; Otago Peninsula, West Harbour/Mt Cargill, Quarantine Island and Goat Island.

The goal is to progressively contain banana passionfruit in these areas to prevent or improve on damage to the indigenous ecosystem at these sites.

How will we achieve that?

ORC will take a lead role in supporting the goals of community groups and agencies in site-led areas in relation to banana passionfruit. This may be through advice, education, funding, service delivery or requiring landowners to undertake control when needed.

How can I control it?

  • You can hand-pull small plants and dispose of them
  • If there is a quite a bit of the vine you can cut and paste the stump near the ground using a suitable herbicide gel containing metsulfuron, triclopyr or glyphosate and leave the plant to rot
  • You can also spray the plant when it is actively growing using a suitable herbicide containing either triclopyr or glyphosate and penetrant.

CautionWhen using any herbicide or pesticide PLEASE READ THE LABEL THOROUGHLY to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

Disclaimer: Mention of product trade names does not endorse these products nor imply criticism of similar products not mentioned. The Otago Regional Council does not give any warranty that the information is accurate or complete or that it is suitable for all circumstances.

Management programme

Page last updated 26 June 2024.