Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Passiflora tarminiana
Coppens & Barney, Passifloraceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results:  High risk, score: 24 (Go to the risk assessment)

Common name(s): [more details]

English: banana passionfruit, banana poka

Spanish: curuba ecuatoriana, curuba india, curuba quiteña, tacso amarillo

Habit:  vine

Description:  "Liana, stem cylindrical, bark fibrous; internodes 6-12 cm long; indument canescent, soft to the tough.  Stipules acicular, auricular, and aristate, 4-7 x 2(-3) mm (1-3 mm long without the aristate apex), arista 3-4 mm long, early deciduous.  Petioles 1.5-4 cm, slightly caniculate adaxially, canescent-ferruginous pubescent with 1 to 4 pairs of adaxial glands.  Leaves trilobed, (7-)16(-29) cm wide; lobes ovate, acuminate; margin serrate, central lobe (5.5-) 11 (-16) x (2.5-) 5 (-8) cm, lateral lobes (5-) 9 (-16) x (2.3-) 4 (-7) cm; lamina moderately lustrous above, glabrescent or scarcely pubescent, trichomes mostly short, mixed with some very long; undersurface canescent-pubescent, the trichomes ferruginous along the nerves.  Flowers axillary, solitary, pendent; peduncles 3-10 cm, canescent-pubescent; bracts 3-4 x 2-3 cm, united halfway, margins entire, ovate, acuminate, nerves yellowish, reticulate venation visible, located 1 cm from hypanthium base; floral tube (including hypanthium) 6-8 x 0.7-1 cm, light green outside, whitish inside; nectar chamber semiglobose, 1.4-2 cm wide; operculum reflexed, margin recurved; annulus present; sepals and petals bright pink to light pink, one white sport seen, opening perpendicular at anthesis, then becoming reflexed later in the day or on the second day; sepals 4.5-6 x 1.2-2.5 cm, oblong, aristate subterminally, awn 3-4 mm; petals 3-6 mm shorter than the sepals; floral tube/sepal length ratio 1.3-1.6; corona reduced to a tuberculate ring at mouth of floral tube, white with purple base; androgynophore 7-10 cm, white; free staminal filaments 2 cm, white; anthers yellow; ovary fusiform, green, pubescent; styles white, stigmas green.  Fruit 10-14 x 3.5-4.5 cm, fusiform; young fruits canescent, the pericarp dark green with white dots except along the main vascular bundles, the dried styles persistent; during maturation dots disappearing and fruit turning yellow to orange yellow.  Seeds asymmetrical, reddish brown when dry, reticulate, acute, cordate; arils orange, sweet, and aromatic"  (Coppens d'Eechenbrugge et al., 2001)

Morphological comparison of three common or cultivated species of Passiflora subgenus Tacsonia.

 

P. tarminiana

P. tripartita var. mollissima

P. mixta

Stem Terete Terete Sub 5-angular
Leaf pubescence Absent or nearly so on upper surface, moderate on lower surface Dense on both sides; other varieties: variable, often glabrous at least on upper surface Absent on upper surface, often absent to rarely dense on lower surface
Stipules Small (4-7 mm long, 2-3 mm wide), subreniform, denticulate or serrulate, deciduous Medium (6-12 mm long, 13-19 mm wide), reniform, serrulate to serrate, persistent Medium to large (6-20 mm long, 12-30 mm wide), reniform, dentate or serrate, persistent
Peduncle Slender, variable in length, flower pendent Slender, short, flower pendent Stout, variable in length, flower half-pendent to erect
Bracts United ½ their length or more United ½ their length or more United ½ their length or more
Corolla color Light pink, very rarely white Pink to magenta Light pink to bright red
Corolla shape Corolla reflexed Corolla campanulate Corolla campanulate
Floral tube/sepal ratio Tube/sepal length ratio ca. 1.3-1.6 Tube/sepal length ratio ca. 2.4-3.2 Tube/sepal length ratio ca. 1.6-2.6
Nectary chamber Appreciably wider than floral tube Slightly wider than floral tube Slightly wider than floral tube
Fruits Pericarp yellow, sometimes orange-tinged; arils orange, succulent Pericarp pale yellow (var. mollissima) to yellow (var. tripartita); arils orange, succulent Pericarp often green at maturity, sometimes turning yellow; arils gray to orange, scant

Source: Coppens d’Eechenbrugge et al., 2001

Habitat/ecology:  This light-loving vine can rapidly reach and smother the forest canopy when the sub-canopy vegetation is disturbed either naturally, by hurricanes and other high winds, or by man or feral pigs (Smith, 1985; p. 197).  In Hawai‘i, "a serious pest in mesic forest, 850-2,225 m"  (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 1012); "smothers even tall trees in forests, forming a shroud"  (Motooka et al., 2003).

Propagation:  Feral pigs, when present, are the principal short-distance dispersal agents (Warshauer et al. 1983). Alien frugivorous and granivorous birds as well as man act as long distance dispersal agents (Smith, 1985; p. 197).

Native range:  South America.

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
Raulerson, L. (2006) (p. 48)
Listed as Passiflora mollissima
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawai‘i (Big) Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (pp. 1012-1013)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Kaua‘i Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (pp. 1012-1013)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Maui Island introduced
invasive
Oppenheimer, Hank L./Bartlett, R. T. (2000) (p. 7)
East Maui. Voucher cited: Oppenheimer & Perlman H89942 (BISH)
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia
Australia (continental)
Australia (continental) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Colombia
Colombia
Colombia (Republic of) cultivated
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand (country) introduced
Owen, S. J. (1997)
Passiflora mollissima, Passiflora mixta
New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand (country) introduced
invasive
cultivated
Webb, C. J./Sykes, W. R./Garnock-Jones, P. J. (1988) (pp. 936-937)
Passiflora mollissima (Kunth) L. Bailey, "Mainly forest and plantation margins, also on isolated trees, sometimes a serious weed"; Passiflora mixta L. f., "Margins of remnant forest stands, windbreaks, plantations, usually in the vicinity of settlements".
Indian Ocean
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
La Réunion (France)
La Réunion Island
La Réunion Island introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)

Comments:  On the State of Hawai‘i noxious weed list and a major problem there.

All three of the species described above occur in New Zealand, although P. tripartita var. mollissima is the most invasive there (Jane Barton, communication to the Aliens listserver).

Control: 

Physical: Small plants can be hand pulled; older ones must be dug out. "Katie Cassel (Kōke‘e Museum) reported no regowth of 15 "stumps" following pulling with no herbicide treatment.  Controlled grazing may be possible in some areas"  (Motooka et al., 2003).

Chemical:  "Chemical control difficult because of large, inaccessible biomass often growing over non-target plants. Santos et al. reported 5%, 50% and 100% glyphosate and triclopyr at the same concentrations were effective in killing cut stumps but many vines re-rooted if not treated. HAVO staff reported control with triclopyr amine, 10% of product in water applied to cut stumps (Chris Zimmer, HAVO)"  (Motooka et al., 2003).

Biological: Studies on the biocontrol potential of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. passiflorae are in progress in Hawai’i (Smith, 1985).

The following biological control agents have been released in Hawai‘i:
Pyrausta perelegans 
(Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) 
bud feeder Colombia established, released 1991
Cyanotricha necyria 
(Lepidoptera: Notodontidae) 
defoliator Colombia  not established, released 1989

In Hawai‘i, "Pyraustra perelegans Hampson (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) feeds on leaves and buds. It has been released in 1991 with little effect. It is established on the Big Island butpopulation levels are extremely variable. Cyanotrica necyria Felder (Lepidoptera Notodontidae), a leaf feeder from Ecuador and Colombia was released in 1988. It has established but has had no demonstrable effect. Further work on this species is desirable because it has a high potential completely defoliating plants.  Josia fluonia Druce (Lepidoptera: Notodontidae), a defoliator, has been recommended for release but is awaiting final approval. One experiment suggested that it could complete its life cycle on apple but the few insects that did complete their life cycle were in very poor condition. Recent experiments have shown that it can survive on the edible passionfruit (P. edulis Sims f. flavicarpa Deg.) suggesting that the proposal for release should be reconsidered. Further work on this species is not recommended because the insect does not appear to have a significant impact on the target plant. Josia ligata Walker (Lepidoptera: Notodontidae), a defoliator, was brought into quarantine but the colony did not survive. Zapriotheca nr. nudiseta (Diptera: Drosophilidae) larvae feed on flower buds. It has passed host specificity testing, but has not been proposed for release yet. A fungus, Septoria passiflorae Sydenham (Deuteromycetes, Dothidiaceae), was released 1996 and has had an apparently dramatic defoliating effect in Laupahoehoe, Hawai‘i Island (D. E. Gardner, pers. comm.). Species of Odonna (Lepidoptera, Oecoriphoridae), a root crown borer, and Dasyops (Diptera, Lonchaeidae), a stem borer, should be studied in South America to obtain data on life history, host specificity, and impact"  (Smith et al., 2002; pp. 92-93).  For additional information on current biological control efforts in Hawai‘i see the Biological control in Hawai‘i website.


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This page was created on 1 JAN 1999 and was last updated on 12 APR 2013.