Corky Passionfruit

Latin Name: Passiflora suberosa

Flower image by nipplerings72

Flower image by nipplerings72

Origin: Native of tropical South America

Family: Passifloraceae.

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.


Fruit Image by nipplerings72

Fruit Image by nipplerings72

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.

Edible Uses

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.

Medicinal Uses

None known


Other Uses

None known

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.



4 thoughts on “Corky Passionfruit

  1. Gillian

    Just found in Coolum Beach, Sunshine Coaat, Australia. The possum may have brought it in as she likes my golden passionfruit.

  2. Sonthia

    Hi I believe I have found a corky but the leaves are a little differrent and the budding fruit is more elongated and less circular….as in it is more fig shaped. Is it possible that the species has evolved a little? Also, why do so many searches say that this plant is poisonous?

    1. admin Post author

      Hello Sonthia, thank you for your comment.
      The unripe fruits are poisonous. You either cook them, or eat them when fully ripe.
      Please note that it might not be very palatable.
      I am not sure about elongated fruits.


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