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30 November 2012

Passiflora tripartita var. mollissima (banana passionfruit)

Datasheet Types: Pest, Invasive species, Host plant, Crop


This datasheet on Passiflora tripartita var. mollissima covers Identity, Overview, Associated Diseases, Pests or Pathogens, Distribution, Dispersal, Hosts/Species Affected, Diagnosis, Biology & Ecology, Environmental Requirements, Natural Enemies, Impacts, Uses, Prevention/Control, Management, Genetics and Breeding, Food Quality, Further Information.


Preferred Scientific Name
Passiflora tripartita var. mollissima (Kunth) Holm-Niels. & P.Jørg
Preferred Common Name
banana passionfruit
Other Scientific Names
Passiflora mixta L.f.
Passiflora mollisima
Passiflora tarminiana Coppens & V.E. Barney
Passiflora tripartita var. tripartita Holm-Nie., Jorg. & Law.
Tacsonia mollissima Kunth
International Common Names
Local Common Names
curuba de Castilla
tacso de Castilla
South Africa
EPPO code
PAQMO (Passiflora mollissima)


Passiflora tripartita var. mollissima (banana passionfruit); scrambling and smothering habit.
Passiflora tripartita var. mollissima (banana passionfruit); scrambling and smothering habit.
©Trevor James-2004/Hamilton, New Zealand
Passiflora tripartita var. mollissima (banana passionfruit); flower.
Passiflora tripartita var. mollissima (banana passionfruit); flower.
©Trevor James-2004/Hamilton, New Zealand
Passiflora tripartita var. mollissima (banana passionfruit); flower.
Passiflora tripartita var. mollissima (banana passionfruit); flower.
©Trevor James-2004/Hamilton, New Zealand
Passiflora tripartita var. mollissima (banana passionfruit); fruit.
Passiflora tripartita var. mollissima (banana passionfruit); fruit.
©Trevor James-2004/Hamilton, New Zealand


Passiflora tripartita var. mollissima (Kunth) Holms-Niels. & P.M. Jørg, banana passionfruit, is a liana that is native to the high elevation Andean regions of southern Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Venezuela. The plant is cultivated commercially for its fruit, mainly in Colombia, with Boyaca being the principal producing area. The fruit is an oblong or oblong-ovoid berry 5–12 cm long and 3–4 cm wide with a leathery peel that has a pale yellow, yellow-orange or green colour at maturity. The flesh is orange with a sweet-sour taste and contains small black elliptic seeds. The common name refers to how the yellow oblong-shaped fruit superficially resembles a banana. The fruit can be eaten out of hand but normally it is used to make juice and is a component of desserts or used to make jams and preserves. It is a cool climate crop with ideal average temperatures of 14-16°C and rainfall requirements of 1500-2000 mm distributed evenly; it is a species of mesic and wet, cool, upper-elevation habitats. The plant is reported as invasive and is particularly problematic in Hawaii. The plant is generally propagated by seed but new selections should be propagated by grafting or tissue culture as the species can cross pollinate. As the plant is a liana, it is propagated on trellises of various types; significant pruning and training of the plants is needed to adapt the plants to the trellis system selected. Fertilization is required as nutrient deficiencies can lead to peel cracking and reduced yields. Irrigation should be applied when rainfall is low or absent for an extended period. The main disease threat for the crop is anthracnose which causes black spots on the fruit peel; in early attacks, fruit remain small and deformed, and the peel can crack open. Harvesting of the fruit starts 10-12 months after transplanting and there is more or less continuous year round production in its native habitat. In Boyaca, the principal area of production, yields are around 10 t ha-1 year-1; although there are reports from other regions were higher yields have been attained.
Principal sources:  Duarte and Paull (2015)

Summary of Invasiveness

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). However, P.mixta sens. strict. is still recognised in New Zealand, but is restricted to the Waitakere ranges, near Auckland.
Although there is no indication that any of these species are invasive in their native habitats, all are regarded as invasive in one or more countries. This invasiveness is exacerbated in all species by their climbing habit compounding the difficulty of control, and by the activities of birds and feral mammals in facilitating their spread. Observation indicates that spread is sufficiently rapid to effect the alteration of forest habitats in a short time, with blankets of Passiflora foliage covering trees, shrubs and the ground, thereby preventing natural regeneration and succession. Ecological processes are severely disrupted, and biodiversity threatened, because these native forests are home to many species that have been proposed for listing as threatened or endangered.

Taxonomic Tree

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Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

The ITIS (2012) gives the species previously known as Passiflora mollissima the accepted name of P. tripartita var. mollissima (Kunth) Holms-Niels. & P.M. Jørg, placed in subgenus Tacsonia (Juss.) Triana & Planch, and this name is used by a variety of authors (e.g. Quintero, 2009; Segura et al., 2005; Esquerre-Ibañez et al., 2015). However, The Plant list (2013) still states the accepted name as P. mollissima, listing P. tripartita var. mollissima as a synonym as does Durate and Paull (2015).
Historically, the nomenclature of the species has been confused. P. mollissima was for a long time the most common binomial appearing in Hawaiian literature (Neal, 1965; Escobar, 1980; Pemberton, 1983; LaRosa, 1985), but had also been referred to as P. mixta L. (Muller-Dombois, 1977). In their Hawaiian flora, Wagner et al. (1990) recognized P. mollissima as the correct binomial, with Tacsonia mollissima Kunth as a synonym. Trujillo and his associates (Trujillo and Taniguchi, 1984; Casanas-Arango et al., 1990, 1996; Trujillo et al., 1994, 2001) presented arguments that the species is P. tripartita (Juss.) Poir. (Killip, 1938) var. tripartita Holm-Nie. Jorg. & Law. (Holm-Nielsen et al., 1988), and is distinct from P. tripartita var. mollissima Holm-Nie. Jorg. & Law. Thus, the name P. tripartita var. tripartita appears in publications by these workers, with the binomial P. mollissima Neal as a later synonym (Trujillo et al., 2001). To add further confusion into the nomenclature of the species, Coppens d’Eeckenbrugge et al. (2001) consider that there is another species, P. tarminiana, which can be identified due to differences in floral characters. Populations of P. tarminiana are particularly abundant in Hawaii suggesting that the earlier Hawaiian literature on the biology and control of P. mollissima actually refers to P. tarminiana. However, Lobo and Medina (2009) and Fischer et al. (2009) indicate that P. mollisima and P. tarminiana produce similar fruit; given that the two can be crossed without difficulty it suggests that they might rather be botanical varieties and not different species.
Critical assessment of the morphological (Villacis et al., 1998) and genetic (Fajardo et al., 1998; Sanchez et al., 1999) variation in Passiflora spp. indigenous to South America has resulted in new understanding of the relationships between the different species of Passiflora in Ecuador. P. tripartita var. mollissima is the main cultivated species of Passiflora in the high Andes (Coppens d'Eeckenbrugge et al., 2001; Segura et al., 2005). Segura et al. (2005) analysed isozyme variation in P. tripartita var. mollissima, P. tarminiana and their closest wild relative, P. mixta. Their results suggested a strong gene flow and close relationship between P. tripartita var. mollissima and P. mixta, whilst P. tarminiana constituted a clearly differentiated group. As a result of the earlier confusion over specific names, knowing which species was referred to in much of the literature is now difficult to interpret and should be treated with caution.
Other names given to this species are: P. tomentosa Lam., Murucuja mollisima Spreng., Tacsonia mixta subsp. tomentosa Mast., Tacsonia mollisima var. glabrescens Mast, P. tomentosa var. mollisima (Duarte and Paull, 2015).
The name in English is banana passionfruit because of the fruit shape. In Spanish, it is called tacso or tacso de Castilla in Ecuador, curuba or curuba de Castilla in Colombia, tumbo or tumbo serrano in Peru and Bolivia, and parcha in Venezuela. There is also a species called curuba roja (red banana passionfruit) that is P. cumbalensis (Duarte and Paull, 2015). In Hawaii it is known as banana poka.

Plant Type

Vine / climber
Seed propagated
Vegetatively propagated


General description

P. tripartita var. mollissima is a vigorous woody perennial liana and can grow up to 8-10 m. Stems are cylindrical and coated with yellow hairs. Like most of its relatives it has tendrils. The root system is shallow with 70% of the roots in the first 30 cm of soil (Bonnet, 1988).


Leaves of P. tripartita var. mollissima are 6-16 cm long, 7-20 cm wide, deeply 3-lobed, moderately to densely pubescent, greyish or yellowish-velvety on the underside and downy above, with clearly defined veins and finely toothed margins (Duarte and Paull, 2015). Petioles with 6-14 glands, stipules obliquely ovate, 6-20 mm long by 12-30 mm wide, persistent.


The length of the floral cup is the most conspicuous morphological difference of the Tacsonia group where the cylindrical 7-10 cm hypanthium is longer than the sepals (Duarte and Paull, 2015). Flowers of P. tripartita var. mollissima are pendent, showy, 6-9 cm in diameter, peduncles solitary, 3.8-10 cm long, bracts connate for 1/3-2/3 length, forming an enlarged tube over a base or hypanthium; hypanthium glabrous, grey-green, frequently blushed with red, tubular, >4 cm long; hypanthium/sepal length ratio (c. 2.0-)2.4-3.2; sepals and petals pink or shades of pink, to salmon-pink, lanceolate to oblong, 4-5 cm long; corona purple or white, tuberculate to dentate.


The fruit of P. tripartita var. mollissima is an oblong or oblong-ovoid berry 5-12 cm long and 3-4 cm wide that has a soft but thick and protecting leathery peel with a pale yellow or yellow-orange, sometimes pale green colour at maturity, covered by a fine pubescence. The epicarp is hard but flexible and the mesocarp very thin. The orange shiny pulp, making up 60% of the fruit weight, contains small, black, flat, elliptic seeds that are surrounded by a sometimes almost sweet, other times fairly sour aril, with a typical fine and special aroma (Duarte and Paull, 2015). The common name refers to the yellow (when ripe) oblong-shaped fruit superficially resembling a banana.


Passiflora is a large genus with species distributed widely throughout the world. The subgenus Tacsonia is restricted to the Andes of South America with about 50 species that grow above 2000 m altitude (Escobar, 1992). P. tripartita var. mollissima is native to the high elevation Andean regions of southern Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Venezuela. There are some plantings in southern Australia, and the plant may have become naturalized in southeastern Australia, but this has yet to be confirmed. Plantings have also occurred in Madras in India and New Guinea. New Zealand seems to have a climate that is suitable for it and it is grown in small amounts. In Hawaii, it was introduced as an ornamental and for the fruit, but it has become a very aggressive forest-destroying weed on the Big Island and Kaua’i (Duarte and Paull, 2015).
Williams and Buxton (1995) stated, "All three Passiflora spp. (P. mollissima, P. pinnastistipula and P. mixta) of the Tacsonia group originating in the Andean highlands are now widespread throughout the world, but only P. mollissima [now known to be P. tarminiana (Hear 2012, Coppens d'Eeckenbrugge et al., 2001)] has become a serious weed in Hawaii."

Distribution Map

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Distribution Table

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History of Introduction and Spread

The species formerly thought of as P. mollissima, but now known to be P. tarminiana, was introduced to the island of Hawaii in 1921 as an ornamental (LaRosa 1984; Norman and Trujillo, 1995).
P. mollissima’ was first collected in New Zealand from Nelson in 1947 and from Wellington in 1949 and 1952 (Heenan & Sykes, 2003). This and other species were introduced to New Zealand as ornamentals or as potential crops. Heenan & Sykes (2003) pointed out that a paucity of herbarium specimens makes the extent of distribution of the different species difficult to ascertain. However, they suggested that P. tarminiana is most common in northern North Island, P. tripartita var. mollissima in Wellington, Nelson and Marlborough, and P. tripartita var. azuayensis  in Wellington, Canterbury and Otago. P. mixta is only found in the Waitakere Ranges near Auckland, although its distribution there is unknown. 
Because of problems with the taxonomy of these species, the reliability of records of distribution in other countries must be suspect until further work has been done.

Risk of Introduction

The risk of accidental movement of P. tripartita var. mollissima seed or other plant parts is considered minimal. Deliberate transport by human activity as a crop or an ornamental is the most likely avenue of introduction. However, this species' invasiveness has become widely recognized, and because of this, the danger of its intentional introduction to areas where it could survive and spread is now considered to be lower. It is a federally listed noxious weed in Hawaii.

Means of Movement and Dispersal

Natural Dispersal (Non-Biotic)

No significant means of non-biotic dispersal are known for P. tripartita var. mollissima. Seeds are not dispersed via wind or water.
Vector Transmission (Biotic)

P. tripartita var. mollissima is dispersed locally in New Zealand by feral pigs, Australian brush-tailed possums and, possibly, some species of birds which consume ripe fruit and pass seeds through their digestive systems (Beavon, 2007); rapid spread is facilitated by the rate of fruit production and large number of seeds per fruit (Casanas-Arango et al., 1996; Beavon, 2007). In Hawaii, introduced birds, pigs and rats are the primary seed dispersers of the related P. tarminiana (Warshauer et al., 1983; LaRosa, 1984). In addition to passage of ingested seeds through the digestive tract, rodents, in particular, may hoard seeds and then fail to relocate some storage sites, effectively planting them (Williams and Buxton, 1995; Williams et al., 2000). P. tripartita var. mollissima appears to have no pathogens or insect feeders in its habitats of introduction that limit its distribution or success.
Accidental Introduction

The likelihood of long-range accidental introduction of P. tripartita var. mollissima is considered minimal. Seeds are contained within the fleshy fruit and are sufficiently large to be readily detected. Their smooth coats make it unlikely that they would adhere to clothing or animals' fur.
Intentional Introduction

Intentional introduction of P. tripartita var. mollissima is the most probable means of introduction. It was brought to New Zealand as an ornamental or possibly as a potential crop. In regions where the fruit may be valued for consumption, its introduction as an agricultural crop is likely. In its native regions, where P. tripartita var. mollissima is grown as a food crop, local dispersal through agricultural practices is probably significant. In New Zealand this species is not commonly consumed as a food and is not grown as a crop. In Australia it, or P. tarminiana, has been used used in breeding programmes for food crops (Winks et al., 1988).

Pathway Vectors

Pathway vectorNotesLong distanceLocalReferences
Clothing, footwear and possessions (pathway vector) Yes  

Hosts/Species Affected

In habitats to which it has been introduced, P. tripartita var. mollissima colonizes native forests, where it spreads as dense layers that cover and shade trees, breaking them down by the weight of the vines. The vines also increase the surface area of supporting trees, rendering the trees vulnerable to breakage by high winds. Dense mats of foliage of this and related species on the ground smother and kill forest seedlings, preventing regeneration (Markin and Nagata, 1989). P. tripartita var. mollissima is not normally a weed of crops in its native habitats or where it has been introduced. Baars et al. (1998) in New Zealand found that P. mollissima was not very specific in its choice of supporting species, being more common in disturbed or regenerating forest which often had lower canopy height.

Host Plants and Other Plants Affected

HostFamilyHost statusReferences
Alnus (alders)BetulaceaeUnknown

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

Morphologically similar members of subgenus Tacsonia in the native habitats of P. tripartita var. mollissima, having flowers with tubular calyces, include P. tarminiana ('curuba de castilla') and P. mixta ('tasco de monte') (Escobar, 1980; Holm-Nielsen et al., 1988, Coppens d’Eekenbrugge et al., 2001). These forms are distinguished in field observation by variations in floral proportions, (e.g., floral tube length), presence and positioning of nectaries, pendent habit of the flowers, and by flower colour. P. tripartita var. mollissima flowers are fully pendent and a true pink to magenta, whereas those of P. mixta, for example, are semipendent and can be light pink to dark red. Hybridization among cultivated forms may further complicate morphological distinctions. Coppens d’Eekenbrugge et al. (2001) provide a useful key for distinguishing between P. tarmimiana, P. tripartita and P. mixta, and Heenan and Sykes (2003) provide a comprehensive key to the Passiflora species of New Zealand detailing the distinguishing characteristics of P. tarminiana.


P. tripartita var. mollissima is a perennial woody vine native to the high elevation Andean regions of southern Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Venezuela, where it is widely grown for its fruit (Pemberton, 1983; LaRosa, 1984, 1985; Markin et al., 1992; Coppens d'Eeckenbrugge, 2001). In this regard, it is known in these habitats only in cultivation and from escaped populations.
Coppens d'Eeckenbrugge (2001) reported that in its native environment it is not well adapted to grow under 2400 m, and that its fruit grow bigger at higher altitudes.
In New Zealand, Baars et al. (1998) suggested that sites with introduced lianes (Clematis vitalba, Lonicerajaponica and 'P. mollissima' – almost certainly P. tripartita var. mollissima) - were generally characterised by high soil pH, warmer and lower altitude sites, proximity to the coast, westerly aspects and early successional vegetation. P. mollissima also tended to be restricted to low forest canopies, an observation shared by Williams and Buxton (1995) who were probably also dealing with P. tripartita var. mollissima. Baars et al. (1998) also found that P. mollissima (once again probably P. tripartita var. mollissima) was not very specific in its choice of supporting species, being more common in disturbed or regenerating forest which often had a lower canopy height.
Baars and Kelly (1996) and Beavon (2007) found that light availability was important for the survival of P. mollissima (probably P. tripartita var. mollissima) seedlings, and that growth and reproduction were restricted to high-irradiance environments.

Habitat List

CategorySub categoryHabitatPresenceStatus
TerrestrialTerrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalNatural forestsPresent, no further detailsHarmful (pest or invasive)

Biology and Ecology


The chromosome number of P. tripartita var. mollissima is 2n=18 (Wagner et al., 1990).
Physiology and Phenology

Williams and Buxton (1995), almost certainly working with P. tripartita var. mollissima, found that in New Zealand establishment is restricted to areas of high light levels and soil disturbance. P.tripartita var. mollissima vines in the forest canopy were found to originate from adjacent open areas up to 15 m away. Baars and Kelly (1996) and Beavon (2007) in New Zealand reported that for P. tripartita var. mollissima, light availability appears to be important for the survival of seedlings.

Reproductive Biology

Although P. tripartita var. mollissima does not appear to produce fruit apomictically (Beavon and Kelly, 2012), stems that are broken or cut can grow new roots if they contact moist soil (Williams and Buxton, 1995).
Self-incompatibility has not been observed in the Tacsonia group (Coppens d’Eeckenbrugge et al., 1997), and stigmatic movement does not occur during anthesis as is observed in the Passiflora group. Research in New Zealand on P. tripartita var. mollissima by Beavon (2007) and Beavon and Kelly (2012) investigated mating systems and reproductive traits. They and other authors pointed out that humming birds are responsible for pollination in the species’ native environments. According to Quintero (2009), honey bees are also important pollinizers helping to improve fruit size and quality. In New Zealand, visitors to flowers were almost exclusively introduced honey bees (Apis mellifera) and bumble bees (Bombus spp.). Beavon and Kelly (2012) compared fruit set, seed set and germination success between hand-selfed, hand-crossed, bagged and open flowers. Bagging flowers to exclude pollinators reduced fruit set from 18.0% to 3.0%. Fruit set in hand-selfed flowers was lower, at 17.5%, than in crossed flowers, at 29.5%. However, bees did not perform as well as either hand-selfing or hand-crossing, indicating significant pollen limitation. The flowers are large in relation to bees and bees can visit the nectar source in them without necessarily contacting either anthers or stigma. Clearly, however, pollination by bees is adequate to allow the species to flourish in New Zealand and elsewhere. The different pollination methods tested by Beavon and Kelly (2012) had no significant effect on fruit size, nor on the number of seeds per fruit, which averaged 108. Neither was there any consistent effect of pollination treatment on seed germination. In Hawaii, abundant fruit set is observed. This seems to be due to a mixture of spontaneous self-pollination and pollination by insects. The newly opened flowers have exposed stamens, favourable to cross-pollination by insects; if cross-pollination does not occur, each flower later pollinates itself through movement of the stigmas to touch the stamens (Duarte and Paull, 2015).
Williams and Buxton (1995) found that fresh seed germinated over 12 weeks at 25oC under constant low light, but that 73% remained ungerminated after that time. LaRosa (1992), in her studies on germination with P. tarminiana, found broadly similar results. Beavon (2007) found that seeds cleaned of flesh germinated in slightly higher numbers than did uncleaned seed, but there were significant differences between germination in the field (much lower, at 9% of cleaned seed) and in a glasshouse (66% of cleaned seed).
In its native environment, P. tripartita var. mollissima is capable of active growth, and of flower and fruit production throughout the year with little seasonal variation. Fruits are attractive to birds, pigs and small mammals, which consume the seeds with the fruit and may pass the undamaged seeds through their digestive tracts (LaRosa, 1984; Williams and Buxton, 1995; Beavon, 2007). Fruit production under cultivation in Bolivia is as high as 1000 kg of fruit/ha/week, and 13,000 kg/ha in 3 months during peak harvest (Casanas-Arango et al., 1996), indicating the potential for production and spread in areas of its introduction.

Environmental Requirements

P. tripartita var. mollissima is a species of mesic and wet, cool (10-20°C), upper-elevation habitats. It is a cool climate crop with ideal average temperatures of 14-16°C, conditions found between 1800 and 3200 m in the Andes (Fischer et al., 2009), with an optimum of 2200-2400 m altitude (Bonnet, 1988; Schoeniger, n.d.). Coppens d'Eeckenbrugge (2001) reported that in its native environment it is not well adapted to grow under 2400 m, and that its fruit grow bigger at higher altitudes. It grows at 3400 m in Cusco, Peru (Missouri Botanical Garden, 2003) and has adapted well to altitudes of 1200-1800 m in Hawaii and New Zealand. In New Zealand, Baars et al. (1998) found that sites where it grew were generally characterised by high soil pH, warmer and lower altitude sites, nearness to coast, westerly aspects and early successional vegetation. The plant can stand light frosts (Munier, 1961) and temperatures of -5°C for a short time. At higher altitudes, fewer anthracnose problems are experienced (Campos, 1992).
The optimal rainfall is between 1500 and 2000 mm (Quintero, 2009) uniformly distributed, otherwise irrigation is necessary for continuous fruit production. Dry periods occur in most of the Peruvian and Bolivian Andes where rain seldom reaches these amounts and normally occurs during only 6 months of the year (Duarte and Paull, 2015).
Both Baars and Kelly (1996) and LaRosa (1992) provided evidence that growth and reproduction appear to be restricted to high-irradiance environments, with ideal growing conditions of 1200-1500 h of sunshine per year (Campos, 1992). Photoperiod does not seem to have an effect on flowering since it does flower for long periods of the year at different latitudes.
Wind is very damaging to this plant, breaking young shoots and causing flower drop (MAG-INCCA, 1991). Fruit can also be damaged by rubbing with other plant parts. Pollinating insects are also affected by wind.
Soil type and soil pH appear not to be critical to the growth of P. mollissima. Plants have been grown experimentally in soils of various consistencies, as well as in sand and vermiculite (Gardner, 1989). The plant needs a soil profile that is at least 50-60 cm deep, medium textured (loam to sandy loam) and rich in organic matter (MAG-INCCA, 1991). The soil should have a good water retention capacity since the vine does not stand long dry periods. The area should not be subjected to flooding and requires good drainage. Campos (1992) suggests an ideal pH of 5.5-6.5. Casierra-Posada et al. (2011) explored the effects of soil salinity on P. tripartita var. mollissima, having commented that current agricultural practices in Columbia are tending to increase soil salinity. They found that with increasing salinity, number of leaves, shoot length, specific leaf weight, leaf area and dry matter all decreased, concluding that banana passionfruit seedlings are moderately sensitive to salt stress.

Latitude/Altitude Ranges

Latitude North (°N)Latitude South (°S)Altitude lower (m)Altitude upper (m)

Air Temperature

ParameterLower limit (°C)Upper limit (°C)
Mean annual temperature1020


ParameterLower limitUpper limitDescription
Dry season duration0 number of consecutive months with <40 mm rainfall
Mean annual rainfall5002500mm; lower/upper limits

Soil Tolerances

Soil texture > medium
Soil texture > heavy
Soil reaction > acid
Soil reaction > neutral
Soil reaction > alkaline
Soil drainage > impeded
Soil drainage > seasonally waterlogged

List of Pests

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Notes on Natural Enemies

To support a biological control programme in Hawaii, Pemberton (1983, 1989) explored the Andean regions of Peru, Ecuador and Colombia in search of natural enemies of P. mollissima (which then included both P. tripartita var, mollissima and P. tarminiana). Later, Causton and associates conducted similar explorations in Venezuela (Causton, 1993, 1997; Causton et al., 2000; Causton and Pena Rangel, 2002). A number of insects associated with this species were identified as a result of these efforts, with those showing promise for biocontrol receiving more intense research attention. Causton's work focused on the fly Dasiops caustonae, which feeds on bud anthers and causes premature flower abscission. In Ecuador and Colombia, Trujillo and Taniguchi (1984) noted a defoliating moth as being of particular interest as a potential biocontrol agent: Cyanotricha necyria Felder (Lepidoptera: Notodontidae) (Markin et al., 1989). A second potential agent, a bud and fruit-feeding moth, Pyrausta perelegans (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) was also found (Markin and Nagata, 1990). Valero and Viana (1970) reported chlorotic spotting of P. mollissima caused by a species of the cicadellid insect Empoasca sp. in Colombia. Josia fluonia (Lepidoptera: Notodontidae), a foliage-feeding moth from Ecuador, was introduced into quarantine in Hawaii for testing as a potential biocontrol agent (Friesen et al., 1994; Hennessey, 1996). Likewise, an apparently new species of the fruit fly genus Zapriothrica (Diptera: Drosophilidae), a pest of high elevation Passiflora spp., was identified in Colombia as a potential biocontrol insect and was evaluated for this purpose (Casanas-Arango et al., 1996) (see Biological Control).
Other insect pests include leaf eaters Dione or Agraulis juno that are found in groups. Fruit flies (Anastrepha spp.) can be sporadically found. Foliage can be infested by mites (Tetranychus spp.) (Duarte and Paull, 2015). In humid and poorly drained situations, nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.) can be a problem.
Few virulent diseases are known to attack P. tripartita var. mollissima; however, the following diseases have been reported: a stem and leaf spot caused by Colletotrichum gloeosporioides (USDA, 1960) and C. passiflorae, which was originally reported from Hawaii as causing anthracnose on leaves and fruit (Stevens, 1925). The rust fungus Puccinia scleriae attacks Passiflora species, including P. tripartita var. mollissima (Gardner and Davis, 1982). The alternate hosts of Puccinia scleriae are Scleria species (nut-rushes). Trujillo et al. (1994, 2001) found several fungal pathogens in the native habitats of Passiflora tripartita var. mollissima. Only two significant pathogenic fungi, capable of defoliating the host, were found on P. tripartita var. mollissima: a powdery mildew, Phyllactinia sp., and Septoria passiflorae (Ponte et al., 1979). Other published records of natural enemies of 'P. mollissima' (i.e. P. tripartita var. mollissima) include those of Chacon and Rojas (1981, 1984) and Morales et al. (2000).

Natural enemies

Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Cyanotricha necyriaHerbivore
Dasiops caustonaeHerbivore
Josia fluoniaHerbivore
Pyrausta perelegansHerbivore
Growing point
Septoria passiflorae (leaf spot of passion fruit)Pathogen

Impact Summary

Animal/plant collectionsNone
Animal/plant productsNegative
Biodiversity (generally)Negative
Crop productionNone
Environment (generally)None
Fisheries / aquacultureNone
Forestry productionNegative
Human healthNone
Livestock productionNone
Native faunaNegative
Native floraNegative
Rare/protected speciesNegative
Trade/international relationsNone

Impact: Economic

P. tripartita var. mollissima is not known to be significantly invasive in its native habitats, although feral populations do exist (Causton, 1997). No direct economic impact of an invasion of any Passiflora species is known for New Zealand other than the cost of its control, although its effect on ecosystem services (water, air and environmental mantainance) must be significant. Costs are also incurred by central and local government in the administration of control efforts.

Impact: Environmental

Although P. tripartita var. mollissima has naturalised in New Zealand relatively recently, its ability to cause environmental damage is apparent. In areas of infestation where it is firmly established, it blankets trees and other vegetation with dense growths of vines, especially in regrowing forests, lower-growing forest margins and in regenerating bush (Williams and Buxton, 1995; Baars and Kelly, 1996). The harm to biodiversity of both flora and fauna is significant.

Threatened Species

Threatened speciesWhere threatenedMechanismsReferencesNotes
Drosophila ochrobasis
Nothocestrum peltatum (Oahu aiea)
Competition - smothering
Phyllostegia racemosa (kiponapona)
Competition - monopolizing resources
Schiedea helleri (Kaholuamanu schiedea)
Competition (unspecified)
Ecosystem change / habitat alteration
Schiedea kauaiensis (Kauai schiedea)
Competition - monopolizing resources

Impact: Social

Besides the economic and ecological impacts outlined above, native forests and their component species are of extreme value to the beliefs, practices and way of life of Maori culture in New Zealand and to indigenous culture elsewhere, and P. tripartita var. mollissima invasion poses a direct threat to these species and systems.

Risk and Impact Factors


Proved invasive outside its native range
Tolerates, or benefits from, cultivation, browsing pressure, mutilation, fire etc
Highly mobile locally
Has high reproductive potential
Has propagules that can remain viable for more than one year

Impact outcomes

Damaged ecosystem services
Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
Negatively impacts tourism
Reduced amenity values
Reduced native biodiversity

Impact mechanisms

Competition - monopolizing resources
Competition - smothering
Competition (unspecified)

Likelihood of entry/control

Difficult/costly to control


P. tripartita var. mollissima is primarily used as a food crop in its native habitats of South America, where it is cultivated at individual home sites. The fruit of the sweeter types can be eaten out of hand but normally it is used to make juice. The juice can be made in a blender mixing it with water or milk and sugar, and straining out the seeds. It is also used in gelatine desserts. In Ecuador, ice cream is made with the pulp. It is also used to prepare drinks as a replacement of the lemon or lime flavours. In Bolivia, the juice is combined with aguardiente and sugar, and served as a pre-dinner cocktail. In New Zealand, the Department of Agriculture has developed recipes to encourage the growing and use of the pulp for pie fillings, and for making meringue pie, sauce, spiced relish, jelly, jam and other preserves. It is also advocated as an ingredient in fruit salad, especially with pineapple, and for blending with whipped cream as a pudding, and for cooking and preserving as an ice-cream topping (Morton, 1987).
P. tripartita var. mollissima is cultivated commercially, mainly in Colombia, with Boyaca being the principal producing area with a harvested area of 663 ha and a production of 6868 t, contributing 48% of the national production of the banana passionfruit (Lizarazo et al., 2013). Cassiera-Posada et al. (2011) reported that in 2009, 1323 ha of P. tripartita var. mollissima were cultivated in Colombia. In Ecuador and the other Andean countries, no large orchards exist and fruit sold in the markets comes from small areas or backyard plants. Occasionally, it can be found in the markets of San Salvador or Mexico City. Limited volumes are exported to the USA or the EU mainly from Colombia and Ecuador (Duarte and Paull, 2015). It has been introduced elsewhere as an ornamental or potential crop. In Australia it, or P. tarminiana, has been used used in breeding programmes for food crops (Winks et al., 1988).

Prevention and Control

Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.
Cultural Control

Grazing cattle have been observed to effectively control P. tarminiana in Hawaiian forests, and Williams and Buxton (1995), in New Zealand, only found seedlings of P. tripartita var. mollissima in areas protected from sheep and cattle grazing. Rooting of pigs may also exert a temporary control, although Williams and Buxton (1995) pointed out that feral pigs are uncommon near human habitation, and in any case, disturbance caused by rooting is known to be deleterious to forest health in the long term and is not to be recommended.
Mechanical Control

Hand pulling of seedlings and small plants can be effective in a limited area, but this is very labour intensive and only useful for small infestations. As P. tripartita var. mollissima is a liana, and therefore closely associated with the overlain vegetation, finding all the stems can be difficult and removing them may involve damage to the supporting trees and other native vegetation.

Chemical Control
Herbicides that give effective control of Passiflora species include glyphosate and metsulfuron. They can be applied by knapsack, brush gun or by the cut stump method. Both herbicides will also kill or damage any desirable plant tissue they contact so they must be applied very carefully. Probably the best method of control involves cutting the vines back as low as possible in winter or early spring, and then spraying the regrowth later in spring with herbicide. The cut vines should be left hanging in the tree to dry out before being removed to prevent them from regrowing if they contact the ground, and to prevent damage to the host tree.
For larger plants the cut stump treatment works well. This means tracing the vines back to the root and cutting them off as close to the root as possible before immediately treating the cut surface with a suitable herbicide. This can be done by applying undiluted herbicide with a paint brush; alternatively, gel formulations of either glyphosate or picloram are available in some countries.
Using chemical control for vines like Passiflora spp. can be very laborious in large infestations and is best restricted to small or isolated populations.

Biological Control

Biological control has been long considered the most practical, cost effective, and long-range approach to P.mollissima (i.e. P. tarminiana) invasion in Hawaii (Waage et al., 1981; Gardner and Davis, 1982; Pemberton, 1983; 1989; Markin, 1989; Causton, 1997; Causton et al., 2000; Causton and Pena Rangel, 2002). In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Gilbert and his associates at the University of Texas at Austin, USA, expressed optimism that one or more species of heliconid butterflies from South America could be used successfully as biocontrol agents for P. mollissima in Hawaii, and with sufficient host specificity that the edible passion fruit, P. edulis, would not be threatened (Waage et al., 1981).
Aside from the efforts in Hawaii against P. mollissima (i.e. P. tarminiana), biocontrol work in New Zealand is outlined in unpublished Landcare research reports (Fowler, 1999; Winks and Fowler, 2000; Fröhlich and Gianotti, 2001).The Septoria leaf spot fungus was trialled as a biocontrol agent in New Zealand but, despite being virulent on weedy species of Passiflora, it also infected the crop species P. edulis and was therefore not considered safe for release (Hayes, 2005).
In 1982, the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources provided funding support for exploration of the native Andean habitats in Peru and Colombia for potential biocontrol agents for P. mollissima, and Pemberton (1983, 1989) encountered several insects associated with P. mollissima though the necessary studies were not completed. Later, the leaf-feeding larvae of the moth Cyanotricha necyria were found to be effective defoliators (Lugo-Pena and Sanchez, 1974; Posada et al., 1976). Casanas-Arango et al. (1990) considered it to be the most important insect pest of P. mollissima in the Andean region (Ecuador-Colombian border) and to be readily available for collection throughout the year. C. necyria was the first insect introduced to quarantine in Hawaii in sufficient numbers to determine its biocontrol potential yielding positive results (Markin and Nagata, 1989). However, upon release into the field, C. necryia did not survive.
Likewise, Pyrausta perelegans, a bud and fruit-feeding moth from P. mollissima’s native habitats, yielded positive indications when tested in quarantine in Hawaii (Markin and Nagata, 1990; Casanas-Arango, 1996). Although P.perelegans became established in P. mollissima-infested forests on the islands of Maui and Hawaii, populations remain low and their impact on the weed is negligible. The reasons for the failure of these two species was thought to be due to predation by Lepidoptera and parasites already in the environment, released in Hawaii during previous years when indiscriminate release in attempts at biocontrol was practiced (Campbell et al., 1993; Casanas-Arango, 1996).
Other biocontrol agents have been tested for host specificity and found wanting for various reasons, including their likely impact on P. edulis. These include a species of Zapriothrica (Casanas-Arango, 1996) and the moth Josia fluonia from Ecuador (Friesen et al., 1994; Hennessey, 1996), as well as other species of flies.

The vascular wilt-causing fungus Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. passiflorae was reported to cause destruction in commercial plantings of the edible passion fruit P. edulis f. edulis in Australia in the 1950s (McKnight, 1951; Purss, 1954, 1958; Groszmann, 1958; Anon., 1960; Inch, 1978) and P. mollissima was also found to be susceptible (Gardner, 1989). The perceived threat to the passion fruit industry has prevented release the fungus into Hawaiian forests. Most of the pathogenic fungi found by Trujillo and associates in the native Andean habitats were on P. tripartita var. mollissima. Trujillo et al. (2001) did find two fungal defoliators on P.mollissima in Colombia that they considered sufficiently virulent to be potential biocontrol agents: a powdery mildew, Phyllactinia sp., and a leaf spot, Septoria passiflorae. The powdery mildew proved difficult to transport to Hawaii and its release was never accomplished. On the other hand, following host range testing, S.passiflorae was successfully released in heavily P. mollissima-infested forests at several sites on the islands of Maui and Hawaii (Trujillo et al., 1994, 2001) and has proven an effective defoliator of the target weed with no apparent damage to surrounding forest species or to other Passiflora spp. in Hawaii (Trujillo et al., 2001). Thus S. passiflorae continues to produce positive results and monitoring of its success is ongoing. Besides its application as a classical biocontrol agent, the possibility of developing S. passiflorae as a mycoherbicide, along with another classical biocontrol pathogen in Hawaii, Colletotrichum gloeosporioides f.sp. clidemiae, was also investigated (Norman and Trujillo, 1995). Again, results were favourable for S. passiflorae in comparison to C.gloeosporioides f. sp. clidemiae, although large-scale production of S. passiflorae as a mycoherbicide has not yet been undertaken.

Integrated Control

Taking into consideration the limited control possible with cattle or sheep grazing, mechanical means and herbicidal treatment, few control methods are available to integrate with biocontrol. This is especially true in forest preserves and national parks where manipulation by managers is kept to a minimum to preserve the natural setting as fully as possible.


Site preparation and planting

Field preparation for planting of P. tripartita var. mollissima can include ploughing and harrowing the whole field in the case of a new orchard on flat land. These preparations are avoided and only the planting holes are prepared where the plants will be grown in orchards with the trellises already in place or in steep areas where mechanization is not possible. Transplanting is done when plants are 30-45 cm tall or when the seedlings have three to four true leaves. In cell trays, it takes about 2-3 months for a seedling to be ready for transplanting. Planting holes should be cubes with 30 cm or up to 60 cm sides depending on soil characteristics. In poor soils, the upper portion of soil taken from the hole should be separated from the lower portion and at planting the upper portion is placed at the bottom of the hole. Decomposed manure or compost should be added to the planting hole at a rate of 5-10 kg per hole or mixed in with the soil. Plants should be placed 4-5 m apart and about 1000 plants per ha are recommended. In heavy soils, a mound 30 cm high and 80-100 cm diameter should be made for each plant, and the vine is planted in the middle of it to ensure water will not stand at their base. If no irrigation is available, transplanting should coincide with the start of the rainy season.
The soil has to be kept weed free. This can be achieved with machete or hoe, making sure that the stem base is not wounded. Herbicides should be used very carefully and if a new product is to be used, a test in a small area should be made before applying to the whole orchard.
In windy situations, if the fence type of trellis is used, the lines should go in the same direction as the wind. With other trellis types, their anchorage will have to be very solid. The ideal is to install wind barriers before the plantation so they will protect it from the beginning.


Since P. tripartita var. mollissima is a liana it has to be grown on trellises. There are several types available but one of the two most widely used is the “fence” trellis, where 2.50 m posts are buried 50 cm every 3-5 m or more, depending on their sturdiness, and plants are spaced every 4-6 m. The distance between trellises should be 2-3 m but if associated with feijoa, 400 plants per ha will be used and trellises will be instead be separated by 5 m with feijoa lines running in the middle of two trellis lines. The orientation should be the same as the prevailing winds, follow contour curves or have a North-South orientation. Each trellis will have lines of No. 14 wire at 0.5, 1.0, 1.5 and 2.0 m from the ground or at 1.0 and 2.0 m only. This trellis has the disadvantage that the fruit skin will be damaged by the contact with the adjacent leaves that have serrated margins.
The other popular trellis is the “pergola” called emparrado where the canopy grows horizontally on top of an intercrossed wire system forming a roof. Here, 2.60 m posts are used and buried to a depth of 50-60 cm every 5-6 m forming squares. On top of the posts, following their lines, either barbed or No. 10 or 12 wires are fixed to make large squares. On these thick wires, thinner No. 16 or 18 wires are installed every 100 cm in both directions forming a mesh. The main posts have to be very sturdy, and to prevent them from inclining towards the centre of the field they are anchored with wire, or a second post is used as support by placing it on the inside of the post in a slanting position to touch the standing post at about 1.8 m height so that it is prevented from inclining. Another method is to install the peripheral posts in an inclined position with a 60–65° angle to the external side of the plot. Although on this trellis type, the fruit hangs free without damage risk, it should not be used when moisture is too high since diseases can become a problem due to reduced aeration and high relative humidity under the structure.
On steep land, a third type of trellis called the “half-roof ” trellis is recommended where one line of posts 2.1 m high runs parallel 1.2 m from another line that is 1.20 m high. Each high post is connected to its adjacent low post by a No. 12 wire that will support two lines of No. 16 wire that run parallel to the post lines and support the canopies. Plants are guided to reach the top of the 2.1 m line and then pinched to induce two branches to form that will grow along the No. 12 wire; when they meet the branch from the neighbouring plant, their tips are cut. This will induce lateral growth and these branches will grow towards the lower line so the fruit will hang freely and will not be damaged by rubbing.

Pruning, training and thinning

Different pruning methods are used throughout the lifecycle of the P. tripartita var. mollissima crop. Formation pruning consists of guiding the plant with strings to the trellis and cutting off the stem to induce branching. In the “fence” trellis, two branches should be running in opposite directions along each wire line until they meet that of a neighbouring plant where they are topped; this means four or eight branches will be selected according to the number of wires used. In the “pergola” trellis, four to eight branches should be induced and are then guided to fill the pergola top. In the “half-roof ” trellis, once the stem reaches the top of the 2.10 m line, it is pinched to get two branches that will run in opposite directions on the wire until they meet the branch of the neighbour and here they are tipped which will cause them to produce laterals that will fill the half roof. All undesired shoots on the main stem and basal shoots should be eliminated.
The second type is production pruning. Normally, P. tripartita var. mollissima branches form flowers in the axils of the leaves but the first nodes do not flower so that once a branch has produced, it will not flower again and should be discarded by pruning. In the “half-roof ” trellis type, once the branches reach the lower part of the roof, they should be eliminated as well as all tertiary branches. This removal is required to avoid them from becoming entangled and facilitate removal of pruned branches in the future. This pruning will induce the formation of new shoots from the primary branches and it should be made about 4 months before the desired harvest time. This means 2.5-3 pruning cycles per year. It is important to prune the branchlets where the canopies of neighbouring plants meet so that they do not get entangled. During the last harvest, the lower wires’ primary branches on the fence trellis can be partially cut in a slanting form leaving three to four buds and then the third and fourth wire branches will be cut. Sometimes the branches in the upper wire are left in place until the new growth on the lower wires is attached in order to keep the vine in position.
The third type is renovation pruning This is done after 7 or 8 years to renovate the plants by cutting all primary branches at 20 cm from the main stem and the regrowth is given the formation pruning.
Finally, elimination of the shrivelled petals should be done as soon as they start to senesce. This is to avoid the fruit peel being attacked by spider mites and insects that will cause small wounds which enlarge with fruit growth and result in defects and a low fruit quality.


If too little rain falls or rains are scarce or absent for a reasonable time, irrigation is necessary for continued production of P. tripartita var. mollissima. In hilly conditions, drip irrigation is a good choice. On flat land drip or furrow irrigation can be used.

Fertilizers and manures

Some recommendations for P. tripartita var. mollissima include four applications per year of 2 kg poultry manure, humus or compost, plus 200 g dolomite, 100 g diammonium phosphate (DAP) or 10-30-10 (NPK) and twice a year, 50 g Agrimins (minor elements). Other recommendations include a 10-30-10 formula to be applied twice a year, once at the beginning of flowering and the second at the end of fruiting; or 100 g per plant of 10-30-10 every 3 months during the first 18 months and 250 g after that, with 15 g Agrimins added in all applications; or 2 kg of decomposed manure and 60 g of 10-30-12 twice a year. Fertilizer should be applied in a circle 30-60 cm away from the stem and it is better if a 5-10 cm deep furrow is made to bury the product. In steep land, apply in a half circle in the uphill part of the plant. Boron deficiency causes peel cracking. The deficiency of N, K and Mg in banana passionfruit reduces the accumulation of dry matter, demonstrating their importance for the growth process.
Principal sources:  Duarte and Paull (2015)



Harvest of P. tripartita var. mollissima starts 10-12 months after transplanting. For immediate use, the fruit is harvested as it starts to turn yellow. For fruit to be shipped to distant markets, fruit should be harvested while still green outside but orange inside or when the yellow just starts to appear on the peel or as the peel develops a lighter green. The fruit should be cut with a piece of peduncle attached. Care has to be taken not to bruise the fruit or subject it to rough handling. There is more or less continuous fruiting year round in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia while in New Zealand, the crop ripens from late March or early April to September or October.


The individual P. tripartita var. mollissima fruit weigh from 50 to 150 g. In Boyaca, the principal area of production, yields are around 10 t ha-1 year-1. In dense planting with good weed control, adequate fertilization and sanitary control, the annual harvest in Colombia can be 150-250 fruit per vine, equal to 150,000-250,000 fruit per ha or around 20-25 t ha-1. Fruit production under cultivation in Bolivia is as high as 1000 kg of fruit ha-1 week-1, and 13,000 kg ha-1 in 3 months during peak harvest, indicating the potential for production and spread in areas of its introduction.
Principal sources:  Duarte and Paull (2015)

Postharvest Treatment

The P. tripartita var. mollissima fruit should be packed in wood or cardboard boxes lined with paper with a maximum of three to four layers of fruit separated by paper with the last layer being covered with paper. The fruit withstands shipment well and will keep for about 10 days to 2 weeks when stored under dry and not too cold conditions. During shipping, the fruit will turn completely yellow and gives off a delicious aroma. Storage at 4-7°C and 90% relative humidity allows fruit to be held for a month.
Principal sources:  Duarte and Paull (2015)

Genetic Resources and Breeding

The chromosome number of P. tripartita var. mollissima is 2n=18 (Wagner et al., 1990). Molecular markers used to study the Tacsonia subgenus found that similarity among different accessions was high indicating inter-species gene flow, which is important for traditional and molecular breeding studies for these fruit (Sánchez et al., 1998). It has also been established that there is a closer relationship between P. mollisima and P. mixta than suggested by present taxonomical classification (Segura et al., 1998). In the same region, there are more than 37 species of the Tacsonia group so there is a tremendous potential to improve banana passionfruit types, especially in Colombia where 15 of these exist including red types that can be as sweet as a sweet granadilla (Quintero, 2009). Several crosses have been tried in Colombia between species like P. mollisima, P. mixta, P. cumbalensis, P. antioquiensis, P. tarminiana and P. manicata.

Major Cultivars

Some selections have been made for P. tripartita var. mollissima, especially in Colombia and Ecuador, which are being vegetatively propagated to maintain their phenotype. The main aim in these programs is good fruit size, high yield, tolerance to anthracnose, long postharvest life and that the fruit can be eaten out of hand.
Due to cross-pollination, selections are propagated by grafting or tissue culture resulting in stable cultivars. In Colombia, they have the most promising cultivar ‘Momix’, apparently a cross of P. mollisima by P. tripartita, which is highly productive, fairly tolerant to anthracnose and with a good flavour; it is propagated in some cases by grafting on regular banana passionfruit. Other selections propagated by tissue culture are ‘Ruizquin 1’ and ‘Ruizquin 2’, both very productive but susceptible to anthracnose and not popular for export. A third interspecific cross is ‘Tintin’, which is tolerant to anthracnose, has good sized fruit but low yields and has been used only for preparing juices, not for export to be eaten out of hand, so it is not recommended to be extensively planted.
Principal sources:  Duarte and Paull (2015)


Seed propagation

Seed propagation is the most widely used system for P. tripartita var. mollissima where local types are grown. For this, the pulp of healthy large and completely ripe or overripe fruit are left to ferment for 1-3 days then rubbed against a wire mesh or the bottom of a colander. Rubbing the pulp containing the seeds with ash can also be done. The rubbed seeds and aril are repeatedly washed thoroughly with water in a container allowing the good seeds to sink until the arils are discarded and the seeds are cleaned. The cleaned seeds are allowed to dry on paper for 3-5 days under shade. Normally seeds are sown in seedbeds or germination boxes and later transplanted to nursery bags. Recently, cell trays have begun to be used and transplanting done directly to the field bypassing the bag phase. Seeds should be buried about 1 cm and the substrate can be covered with plastic to speed up the germination that can last about 6 weeks.

Vegetative propagation

Grafting can be done especially when there are soil problems, but it is seldom used. The cultivar ‘Momix’ is propagated by grafting, in very poor soils P. manicata can be used as a rootstock. Cuttings can be used but it is not common.
Principal sources:  Duarte and Paull (2015)

Nutritional Value

P. tripartita var. mollissima is a good source of vitamins A and C and contains moderate amounts of riboflavin. The fruit contains potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, chlorine, iron and provides moderate amounts of carbohydrates and calories. The content of phenols, flavonoids and carotenoids in the flesh confers the ability to scavenge free radicals thereby providing protective effects against the development of cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases, and cancer (Chaparro et al., 2015).
In 100 g of flesh of sweet banana passionfruit contains 50% edible pulp, 92.6 g water, 25 kcal, 0.5 g protein, 0.1 g lipid, 6.2 g carbohydrate, 0.6 g fibre, 0.6 g ash, 8 mg calcium, 0.4 mg iron, 18 mg phosphorus, 52 mg ascorbic acid, 0.04 mg riboflavin, 1.5 mg niacin and 20 mcg Activity Vitamin A.
Principal sources:  Duarte and Paull (2015)

Links to Websites

GISD/IASPMR: Invasive Alien Species Pathway Management Resource and DAISIE European Invasive Alien Species Gateway source for updated system data added to species habitat list.


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