Latin Name: Passiflora suberosa
Origin: Native of tropical South America
Known Hazards: None known.
Habitat: Open forest and disturbed land.
Edibility Rating: 3 (1-5)
Medicinal Rating: 0 (1-5)
Physical Characteristics: Perennial vine, climbing via tendrils, to 6 m high on supporting vegetation. Lower stems corky and rooting when in contact with the ground. Leaves 3–10 cm long on stalk 0.5–2 cm long. Fruit globe-shaped, mostly 1–1.5 cm wide, initially green ripening dark purple to black and containing numerous seeds. Seeds 3–4 mm long.
Flowers: With an outer crown-like ring of tissue (corona) purple below and inner corona white. Flowers late spring to autumn.The flowers are hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees. The plant is self-fertile.
Distinguishing features: Distinguished by corky bark on older stems; leaves usually 3-lobed; leaf margins not toothed; leaf stalk with 2 raised glands near the middle; stipules at base of leaves linear, 0.4–0.8 cm long; flowers 1.8–2.5 cm wide, yellow-green, petals absent.
Dispersal: Spread by bird-dispersed seed and via trailing stems.
Fruit – raw or cooked. The unripe fruits are cooked, whilst the ripe fruits are eaten raw or made into a refreshing drink. The flavour is not very desirable. The fruit is partly hollow and contains a small amount of pleasant acid-tasting pulp surrounding a large quantity of seeds. The flowers can be made into a syrup.
Notes: Garden escape, naturalised in open forest and disturbed land. Most troublesome in the subcanopy and ground vegetation layers. Leaves, stems and green fruit are poisonous. A troublesome weed in Melanesia, Hawaii, and now spreading in SE Asia, India and South Africa.