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.



13 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.

  3. Craig Brown

    Its an introduced weed. Poisonous in most stages of life
    Pull it out and dispose of in its entirety. Do not encourage people to cultivate this easily spread pest.

    1. admin Post author

      Hello Craig, thank you for your comment.
      The same assessment could be used for a lot of plants readily available everywhere and purposely cultivated.
      I believe an assessment of value based on a partisan judgement is not helping anyone.
      This website provides information usually curtained by other agencies.

      1. Dave

        Some of my favourite plants are “weeds”, incredibly drawn to benefits of opuntia sp. for health and soil regeneration myself.
        Actually find it quite bewildering just how plants that thrive and can be managed to create a lush food forest are called weeds.
        Things need to change ….

        1. Greg Rossington

          Hi Dave
          Opuntia sp. was first introduced to Australia by the colonists of the First Fleet with later introductions in the 19th century. By 1926 when Cactoblastis cactorum moths were introduced to Australia as a biological weed control it had overtaken 24 million hectares of land in New South Wales and Queensland
          Its only the incredible success of this control that lets us safely have the use of these plants
          We dodged a bullet there

        2. Machelle

          Exactly!! This plant “weed” is used buy native Florida butterflies and I have it trained to grow on a trellis in my garden here in Cape Coral, Florida just for that purpose and enjoy sitting outside nearby it watching all the butterflies flying around and landing on it.

      2. Greg Rossington

        Have to agree with Craig
        Many of my favourite plants are “weeds” when a plant is listed as an “environmental weed” (not just an introduced plant) it is because it is reducing overall plant biodiversity and so we are missing out on having the range of wild food we might otherwise have

      3. Greg Rossington

        We have the native plants Passiflora herbertiana and/or Passiflora aurantia over the same range without the cyanide toxicity and environmental problems
        Would love to see these here 🙂

    2. Katrina c Harvey

      It’s native to Florida and it is a beneficial host plant for 2 types of butterflies. It’s not a weed but supports the local ecosystem and the local insects.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *