Blue passion flower
|Botanical Name||Passiflora caerulea|
|Origin||S. Brazil to Argentina|
DescriptionHairless vine with angular shoots. Leaves deeply 5-lobed and thin, middle lobe 35-85 mm long. Flowers purple/white, Dec-Apr. Blue passion flower is often confused with northern banana passionfruit which has larger leaves and produces pink flowers Jan-Dec. Other passionfruit/flower species have also been noted growing in native forests e.g. vanilla passionfruit (P. antioquiensis - red flowers), black passionfruit (P. edulis - common commercial passionfruit).
Where is it found?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.
Why is it a problem?Known to enter and fill forest light gaps, and capable of causing damage by smothering plants. It is a climbing plant able to reach the tree canopy and cover a large area. A closely related plant is a large problem in Hawaiian forests.
How does it spread?Main sources of infestation are farm and orchard hedges and rural wastelands. Spread primarily by blackbirds, fruit is also eaten by possums. Often used as a root stock for black passionfruit or grown for ornament.
How do I get rid of it?
Hand pull whenever possible or dig plant out at the roots.
Mulch or compost.
Climbing character of the plant means support plant will also be damaged by herbicide sprays used. Spray with Glyphosate at 100 ml in 10 litres of water plus 20 ml of Penetrant if support plant damage is not an issue. In large stands cut at ground level and treat stems with Glyphosate.
Hand pull small infestations. Cut and stump treat larger areas.