Passiflora foetida (red fruit passion flower)
- Summary of Invasiveness
- Taxonomic Tree
- Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature
- Distribution Table
- Risk of Introduction
- Habitat List
- Hosts/Species Affected
- Biology and Ecology
- Air Temperature
- Natural enemies
- Notes on Natural Enemies
- Plant Trade
- Wood Packaging
- Impact Summary
- Threatened Species
- Risk and Impact Factors
- Similarities to Other Species/Conditions
- Prevention and Control
- Links to Websites
- Distribution Maps
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PicturesTop of page
IdentityTop of page
Preferred Scientific Name
- Passiflora foetida L. (1753)
Preferred Common Name
- red fruit passion flower
International Common Names
- English: love-in-a-mist; stinking passion flower; wild water lemon
- Spanish: caguajasa (Cuba); clavellin blanco (Honduras); granadilla colorada; granadilla silvestre; norbo cimarrón (Bolivia); tumbillo
- French: marie goujeat; passiflore fétide
Local Common Names
- Argentina: ataco; corona de Cristo; granadilla; mburucuyá; mburucuyá aceitosa; mburucuyá menor; mburucuyá miní; mburucuyá rastrero; pasionaria; pasionaria hedionda; pocoto
- Australia: mossy passion flower
- Bolivia: pedón
- Brazil: maracajusinho (San Luis Island); maracujá catinga; maracujá de cheiro; maracujá de cobra; maracujá de estalo; maracujá de lagartinho; maracujá fedorento; maracuja-da-petra
- Cambodia: sav mao prey
- Colombia: bejuco canastilla; chulupa de loma; cinco Ilagas; cocorilla; curubo; flor de la pasión; gulupo
- Dominican Republic: caguazo; mariballa
- Ecuador: love in a mist
- El Salvador: granadilla colorado; granadilla montes; sandia de culebra
- Fiji: wild passion fruit
- Germany: Passionsblume, Rotfrüchtige
- Guadeloupe: magouja; mariegougeat
- Guam: kinahulo atadeo
- Haiti: toque molle
- Honduras: granadilla
- India: banchathail; mukkopeera
- Indonesia: buah tikus; ceplukan blunsun; katceprek; katjeprek; lemanas; permot; permot rajutan; rambaton blunsun
- Jamaica: granadilla; love in a mist; sweet cup
- Japan: kusa-tokeiso
- Madagascar: tsipopoka
- Malaysia: pokok lang bulu; timun dendang
- Malaysia/Sarawak: letup
- Mauritius: poc-poc sauvage
- Mexico: clavellín blanco; granadilla; jujito peludo; jujo
- Micronesia, Federated states of: pwompwomw (Pohnpei)
- Netherlands: Marie-goujeat
- Nicaragua: catapanza
- Paraguay: hóntayek; mburucuyá
- Peru: bolsa mullaca; granadilla; granadilla cimarrona; puru-puru
- Philippines: kurunggut; lupok-lupok; masaflora; melon meleonan; pasionariang-mabaho; prutas taungan
- Puerto Rico: flor de pasion sylvestre; silvestre; tagua tagua
- Réunion: petite grenadille; poc poc
- Samoa: pasio vao
- Singapore: timun dendang; timun hutan; timun padang
- Solomon Islands: kakalifaka; kwalo kakali
- South Africa: running pop
- Sri Lanka: dalbattu; kodimathulai; madahalu; udahalu
- Thailand: ka-thok-rok
- Tonga: vaine 'a e kuma
- USA/Hawaii: scarlet fruited passion flower
- Venezuela: cojón de gato; parchita de culebra; parchita de montana
- Vietnam: chum bao
- PAQFO (Passiflora foetida)
Summary of InvasivenessTop of page
The following summary is from Witt and Luke (2017):
Evergreen climber with tendrils (slender, usually twisting structures on the stems or leaves that aid in ‘climbing’); stems sometimes angular (to 15 m high); tendril at the base of each leaf stalk together with a stipule (thread-like appendage) covered with sticky glands; stems have an unpleasant odour.
Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Surinam, Uruguay, USA and Venezuela.
Reason for Introduction
Medicine, ground cover and ornament.
Roadsides, disturbed areas, crops, plantations, forest edges/gaps, savannahs and riparian zones.
In parts of Malaysia, it is a serious weed of maize and rubber. It also impacts negatively on coconut production in the Pacific; on maize, sugarcane and cotton in Thailand; on oil palm in Indonesia; on taro in Samoa; and on various other crops in Sarawak. It is an alternate host for the vectors of a number of diseases affecting cultivated passion fruit. P. foetida leaves contain cyanide, which if consumed by goats, mainly during the dry season, result in poisoning with symptoms such as apathy, tachycardia, tachypnea, jugular venous pulse, incoordination, bellowing, mydriasis, and sternal recumbence followed by lateral recumbence.
Taxonomic TreeTop of page
- Domain: Eukaryota
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Spermatophyta
- Subphylum: Angiospermae
- Class: Dicotyledonae
- Order: Violales
- Family: Passifloraceae
- Genus: Passiflora
- Species: Passiflora foetida
Notes on Taxonomy and NomenclatureTop of page
The generic name Passiflora refers to the supposed relativity of the separate parts of the flower to the death and passion of Christ; the specific name relates to the odorous resin present in the sticky glandular hairs on many parts of the plant. The name Passiflora foetida is universally accepted for this common and widespread weedy vine among the 500 or so other species in the genus (Hansen et al., 1999). A number of subspecies or varieties exist including foetida ssp. gossypifolia, ssp. hispida and ssp. riparia. Satterthwait (1982) reports chromosome number, n = 10.
DescriptionTop of page
P. foetida is a branched annual or perennial herbaceous vine 1-5 m tall with an annual or perennial woody tap root. Most parts of the above ground plant carry distinctive glandular hairs, the tips of which secrete a distinctively odorous substance. The plant scrambles or climbs by means of tendrils, and spreads only by seed.
Stems 1-5 m long, branched, herbaceous, round, green and finely hairy.
Leaves single, alternate, stipules to 1 cm long and divided into hair-like segments, petiole 2-10 cm long without nectary glands, blades 5-15 cm long, 3 or 5 lobed, the base cordate, the edges generally fringed with glandular hairs, the veins prominent, pale green and often finely hairy.
Tendrils leaf-opposed, unbranched, coiling and grasping.
Flowers solitary in upper leaf axils, peduncle 3-5 cm long, bracts 2-4 cm long and deeply divided into hair-like segments that surround the flower and fruit, sepals 5, greenish petals 5, blunt, white to pale purple or pinkish, 3-5 cm across surrounding a 2-rowed corona of purplish filaments, 5 stamens spreading at the top of a column, styles 3.
Fruits oval, 2-3 cm long, smooth, enclosed in hairy bracts. At first fleshy and green, maturing dry and yellow or orange to red, sometimes spotted, even pale green (Amela Garcia, unpublished data).
Ripe seeds blackish, flattened, wedge-shaped, 3-4 mm long, irregularly ridged, surrounded by a transparent aril.
Seedlings with epigeal germination. Hypocotyl 8-12 mm long, hairless, light green. Cotyledons shortly stalked, oblong, light green, 8-12 mm long, hairless, strongly veined. Juvenile leaves single, ovate, irregularly lobed, 12-14 mm long, with glandular hairs on margins and stalks. Seedlings foetid when crushed.
DistributionTop of page
P. foetida is native to Central America, South America and the West Indies (Killip, 1938), but is now widely naturalized throughout the tropics and subtropics.
Distribution TableTop of page
The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.
|Continent/Country/Region||Distribution||Last Reported||Origin||First Reported||Invasive||Reference||Notes|
|Brunei Darussalam||Present||Waterhouse, 1993|
|Cambodia||Present||Holm et al., 1997|
|China||Widespread||Holm et al., 1991; Holm et al., 1997|
|-Hong Kong||Present||Holm et al., 1991|
|Christmas Island (Indian Ocean)||Present||Du and Puy Telford, 1993|
|Cocos Islands||Present||Du and Puy Telford, 1993|
|India||Widespread||Native||Not invasive||Padhye and Deshpande, 1960; Holm et al., 1991; Holm et al., 1997|
|-Maharashtra||Present||Mallikarjunaiah & Rao, 1972|
|Indonesia||Widespread||Kostermans et al., 1987; Holm et al., 1991; Waterhouse, 1993; Holm et al., 1997|
|-Java||Present||Soerjani et al., 1987|
|Japan||Present||Holm et al., 1997|
|-Ryukyu Archipelago||Present||Yonaha et al., 1979|
|Lebanon||Present||Holm et al., 1997|
|Malaysia||Widespread||Homl et al., 1997; Holm et al., 1991; Abu, 1992; Waterhouse, 1993|
|-Sarawak||Present||Native||Voon and Kueh, 1999|
|Philippines||Widespread||Pancho et al., 1969; Holm et al., 1991; Waterhouse, 1993; Holm et al., 1997|
|Singapore||Present||Anon, 1998a; Waterhouse, 1993; Yeoh and Wee, 1994|
|Sri Lanka||Widespread||Holm et al., 1991; Dassanayake and Hicks, 1994; Holm et al., 1997|
|Thailand||Present||Holm et al., 1991; Waterhouse, 1993|
|Vietnam||Present||Holm et al., 1991; Waterhouse, 1993; Holm et al., 1997|
|Cameroon||Present||Hutchinson et al., 1954|
|Congo||Present||Holm et al., 1991; Szafranski et al., 1991; Holm et al., 1997|
|Côte d'Ivoire||Present||Wijs, 1974; Bigot and Vuattoux, 1979|
|Equatorial Guinea||Present||Hutchinson et al., 1954|
|Gambia||Present||Hutchinson et al., 1954|
|Ghana||Present||Holm et al., 1991|
|Guinea||Present||Hutchinson et al., 1954|
|Kenya||Present||Holm et al., 1997|
|Madagascar||Present||Holm et al., 1997|
|Mauritius||Present||Holm et al., 1991; Holm et al., 1997|
|Mozambique||Present||Fernandez and Fernandes, 1978|
|Nigeria||Present||Holm et al., 1991|
|Réunion||Present||Holm et al., 1991|
|Senegal||Present||Holm et al., 1991|
|Sierra Leone||Present||Holm et al., 1991|
|South Africa||Present||Wells et al., 1986|
|Tanzania||Present||Witt and Luke, 2017|
|Mexico||Present||Native||Not invasive||Killip, 1938; Holm et al., 1997|
|USA||Present||Holm et al., 1991; Holm et al., 1997|
|-Arizona||Present||Native||Not invasive||Killip, 1938|
|-Florida||Present||Anon, 1998b; Killip, 1938|
|-Hawaii||Present||Gardner, 1989; Holm et al., 1991; Holm et al., 1997|
Central America and Caribbean
|Bahamas||Present||Native||Not invasive||Killip, 1938|
|Barbados||Present||Native||Not invasive||Killip, 1938|
|Belize||Present||Native||Not invasive||Killip, 1938|
|British Virgin Islands||Present||Native||Not invasive||Killip, 1938|
|Costa Rica||Present||Native||Not invasive||Killip, 1938|
|Cuba||Present||Native||Not invasive||Killip, 1938; Holm et al., 1997|
|Curaçao||Present||Native||Not invasive||Killip, 1938|
|Dominica||Present||Native||Not invasive||Killip, 1938|
|Dominican Republic||Present||Native||Not invasive||Killip, 1938; Holm et al., 1991; Holm et al., 1997|
|El Salvador||Present||Native||Not invasive||Killip, 1938; Garcia et al., 1975; Holm et al., 1991|
|Guadeloupe||Present||Native||Not invasive||Killip, 1938|
|Guatemala||Present||Native||Not invasive||Killip, 1938|
|Haiti||Present||Native||Not invasive||Killip, 1938|
|Honduras||Present||Native||Not invasive||Killip, 1938; Holm et al., 1991; Holm et al., 1997|
|Jamaica||Present||Native||Not invasive||Killip, 1938; Holm et al., 1991; Holm et al., 1997|
|Martinique||Present||Native||Not invasive||Killip, 1938|
|Montserrat||Present||Native||Not invasive||Killip, 1938|
|Nicaragua||Present||Native||Not invasive||Killip, 1938; Holm et al., 1991; Holm et al., 1997|
|Panama||Present||Native||Not invasive||Killip, 1938|
|Puerto Rico||Present||Native||Not invasive||Killip, 1938; Holm et al., 1991; Holm et al., 1997|
|Saint Kitts and Nevis||Present||Native||Not invasive||Killip, 1938|
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||Present||Native||Not invasive||Killip, 1938|
|Trinidad and Tobago||Present||Native||Not invasive||Killip, 1938; Holm et al., 1991|
|Argentina||Restricted distribution||Native||Not invasive||Killip, 1938; Deginani, 2001|
|Bolivia||Present||Native||Not invasive||Killip, 1938; Frank, 1999|
|Brazil||Present, few occurrences||Native||Not invasive||Killip, 1938; Da Costa Sacco, 1980; Holm et al., 1997|
|Chile||Present||Native||Not invasive||Killip, 1938; Deginani, 2001|
|Colombia||Present||Native||Not invasive||Killip, 1938; Holm et al., 1991; Holm et al., 1997|
|Ecuador||Present||Native||Not invasive||Killip, 1938|
|-Galapagos Islands||Present||Native||Not invasive||Killip, 1938; Andersen et al., 1998|
|French Guiana||Present||Native||Not invasive||Killip, 1938|
|Guyana||Present||Native||Not invasive||Killip, 1938|
|Paraguay||Present||Native||Not invasive||Killip, 1938|
|Peru||Present||Native||Not invasive||Killip, 1938; Holm et al., 1991; Holm et al., 1997|
|Suriname||Present||Killip, 1938; Holm et al., 1991|
|Uruguay||Present||Native||Not invasive||Deginani, 2001|
|Venezuela||Present||Native||Not invasive||Killip, 1938; Hernandez-Garboza and Ochoa-Corona, 1994; Holm et al., 1997|
|American Samoa||Present||Waterhouse, 1997|
|Australia||Widespread||Holm et al., 1991|
|-Australian Northern Territory||Widespread||Satterthwait, 1982; Hnatiuk, 1990; Holm et al., 1997|
|-New South Wales||Present||Satterthwait, 1982; Hnatiuk, 1990; Holm et al., 1997|
|-Queensland||Widespread||Introduced||Satterthwait, 1982; Hnatiuk, 1990; Bean, 1994; Holm et al., 1997|
|-South Australia||Present||Holm et al., 1997|
|-Western Australia||Present||Holm et al., 1997|
|Cook Islands||Present||Waterhouse, 1997|
|Fiji||Widespread||Parham, 1958; Holm et al., 1991; Holm et al., 1997|
|French Polynesia||Widespread||Waterhouse, 1997|
|Guam||Present||Lee, 1985; Holm et al., 1991|
|Micronesia, Federated states of||Present||Waterhouse, 1997|
|New Caledonia||Widespread||MacKee, 1985; Holm et al., 1997|
|Papua New Guinea||Widespread||Henty and Pritchard, 1975; Holm et al., 1991; Holm et al., 1997|
|Samoa||Widespread||Sauerborn and Sauerborn, 1984; Waterhouse, 1997|
|Solomon Islands||Present||Hancock and Henderson, 1988|
|Wallis and Futuna Islands||Widespread||Waterhouse, 1997|
Risk of IntroductionTop of page
The most probable means of spread of P. foetida is deliberate introduction due to its ornamental interest; possible ways include mail orders as, for example, it is sold and bought in Europe.
HabitatTop of page
P. foetida is especially common along roadsides, around houses and sheds, along fences and in waste areas throughout the tropics and subtropics. It requires warm, moist soil and air conditions for at least half of the year, moderate to high soil fertility, support for the vines, and freedom from cultivation for several months. In permanently moist soils it may exhibit an annual or a perennial life cycle, whilst in areas with a strong dry season it is more likely to exist as an annual vine.
The plant grows on a wide range of soils from peats through loams to sands, as well as on soils derived from corals and volcanic debris.
Habitat ListTop of page
|Terrestrial – Managed||Cultivated / agricultural land||Present, no further details||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Protected agriculture (e.g. glasshouse production)||Present, no further details||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Disturbed areas||Present, no further details||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Terrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-natural||Natural forests||Present, no further details|
|Natural grasslands||Present, no further details|
|Deserts||Present, no further details|
|Coastal areas||Present, no further details|
Hosts/Species AffectedTop of page
P. foetida occurs in a very wide range of crops, pastures and plantations.
Biology and EcologyTop of page
P. foetida is generally a fairly weakly growing climbing herb. It reproduces solely by seed which is probably spread by small mammals (MacDougal, 1994), because of its fruit features (Amela Garcia, unpublished data), and in contaminated trash and soil after the fruits have been allowed to mature. Dormant, but viable seeds are able to survive in the soil for many years. Germination most commonly occurs in cropland after cultivation where the soil has been disturbed and is moist and warm. It is also commonly seen in uncultivated and neglected areas such as along roadsides and fencelines, riverbanks, and other occasionally disturbed sites. The plant grows best where there is support (such as taller plants), in the absence of which it may form mats over the ground and other low-growing plants.
De Melo et al. (2001) observed regular pairing and regular chromosome segregation during meiosis.
Physiology and phenology
Germination percentage and germination speed, with or without arile, are low and slow, respectively, but the initial time of emergency is minor with arile (Amela Garcia et al., 2001).
P. foetida produces flowers and fruits between October and February in Brazil (Da Costa Sacco, 1980) and throughtout the year, mainly from September to May in Argentina (Deginani, 1998).
Seeds obtained by spontaneous self-pollination, induced self-pollination, geitonogamous pollination and natural pollination were viable and the major germination percetage ocurred 2 months after sowing (Amela Garcia et al., 2000).
Shoot regeneration from mature endosperm of P. foetida was obtained by Mohamed et al. (1996). The regenerated plants flowered, although fruit set was not observed.
Breeding system and pollination
P. foetida is self-compatible, pollinated mainly by Ptiloglossa tarsata and rarely by Pseudaugochloropsis sp. in Chaco, Argentina (Amela Garcia and Hoc, 1998). Janzen (1968) cited several species of Ptiloglossa as pollinators in Central America and Frankie et al. (1983) noted the constancy of this visitor. However, Gottsberger et al. (1988) observed species of Centris and Xylocopa pollinating in Brazil. Amela Garcia and Hoc (2001) compared the pollinators of six species of Passiflora and concluded that P. foetida is served by pollinators of medium size, in contrast to species with bigger and stronger flowers. Besides, the early and short anthesis of P. foetida is correlated with the mainly matinal activity of its most important pollinator, Ptiloglossa tarsata.
Fruit production by free pollination is high (Amela Garcia and Hoc, 1998).
The minimum rainfall required for P. foetida is 900 mm (Luna Ercilla, 1992). The preferred temperature range is 19-29°C for seedlings and 13-38°C for adult plants (Vanderplank, 1997). It is a heliophytic and selectively hygrophytic species (Da Costa Sacco, 1980). P. foetida var. vitacea has been encountered up to 1100 m in Paraguay, Uruguay and northern Argentina (Killip, 1938).
Air TemperatureTop of page
|Parameter||Lower limit||Upper limit|
|Mean annual temperature (ºC)||15||27|
|Mean maximum temperature of hottest month (ºC)||34|
|Mean minimum temperature of coldest month (ºC)||9|
RainfallTop of page
|Parameter||Lower limit||Upper limit||Description|
|Mean annual rainfall||15||150||mm; lower/upper limits|
Natural enemiesTop of page
Notes on Natural EnemiesTop of page
Waterhouse (1994) noted that in excess of 200 insects have been recorded attacking Passifloraceae in South and Central America. Many of these, however, are polyphagous and little is known about natural enemies specific to P. foetida. The chrysomelid beetle Diabrotica speciosa eats the flowers of P. foetida (Amela García and Hoc, 1998). Other Chrysomelidae eat the leaves (Cordo et al., 2004). The most noteworthy group are the heliconiine butterflies, of which Agraulis vanillae, Dione juno, Dryas julia, Eueides aliphera and E. isabella are recorded as pests of Passiflora edulis, although the larvae of other species are occasionally found on Passiflora spp.. Heliconius hecale attacks P. foetida in Central and South America and has some potential as a biological control agent (Waage et al., 1981). In Argentina, Agraulis vanillae maculosa leaves the eggs on the tendrils of P. foetida and on adjacent plants; the larvae eat the flower buds and juvenile leaves (Cordo et al., 2004). In Costa Rica, Euptoieta hegesia and also Agraulis vanillae feed on it (Janzen, 1991). In Hawaii, USA, the fungus Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. passiflorae attacks P. foetida, P. tripartita and P. ligularis but not P. suberosa or the cultivated species, P. edulis f. flavicarpa (Gardner, 1989). P. foetida is also attacked by the passion fruit woodiness virus in New Guinea and adjacent regions of northern Australia (Davis et al., 2002), Soybean mosaic virus, with symptoms in the leaves in Colombia (Castillo et al., 2001) and Xylella fastidiosa (Hernández Garboza and Ochoa Corona, 1994). Dassanayake and Hicks (1992) used purified virus preparations from P. foetida to study the serological relationship among passiflora viruses.
Plant TradeTop of page
|Plant parts liable to carry the pest in trade/transport||Pest stages||Borne internally||Borne externally||Visibility of pest or symptoms|
|Leaves||eggs; eggs||Yes||Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye|
|Stems (above ground)/Shoots/Trunks/Branches||eggs; eggs||Yes||Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye|
Wood PackagingTop of page
|Wood Packaging not known to carry the pest in trade/transport|
|Loose wood packing material|
|Processed or treated wood|
|Solid wood packing material with bark|
|Solid wood packing material without bark|
Impact SummaryTop of page
|Fisheries / aquaculture||None|
ImpactTop of page
Holm et al. (1997) note that P. foetida is a weed of 20 crops in 49 countries. It is the most serious weed in maize in some parts of Malaysia and is a serious weed of rubber there, and in Indonesia. It is also especially serious in coconut in the Pacific, in maize and sugarcane in Thailand, in cotton in Thailand and Peru, in oilpalm in Indonesia, in taro in Samoa, and in various crops in Sarawak.
P. foetida generally grows in areas where competition for nutrients and water are unlikely to be serious, however it may be a strong competitor for light. It also becomes entangled in crops making management difficult.
It is an alternate host for a number of diseases which affect cultivated passionfruit, including Passiflora ringspot virus (Dassanayake and Hicks, 1990), Passion fruit Sri Lankan mottle virus (Dassanayake and Hicks, 1992), Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. passiflorae (Gardner, 1989), Cucumber mosaic virus (Yonaha et al. 1979), a lepidopterous Pterophoridae (Bigot and Vuattoux, 1979), Passionfruit woodiness virus (Queensland Department of Primary Industries, 1976), Agraulis vanillae vanillae (United States Department of Agriculture, 1977) and Colletotrichum gleosporoides [Glomerella cingulata] (Mallikarjunaiah and Rao, 1972).
Although the leaves and unripe fruits contain toxic cyanogenic glucosides and alkaloids the incidence of stock poisoning due to P. foetida appears to be minimal. Passifloricin A, a polyketide alpha-pyrone isolated from from P. foetida var. hispida resin, exhibited an LC50 of 0.014 µg/ml in a brine shrimp assay performed by Echeverri et al. (2001). Starving horses reject this plant (Janzen, 1991).
P. foetida invades natural vegetation in a number of countries (Bean, 1994), though probably never to a serious extent.
Threatened SpeciesTop of page
Risk and Impact FactorsTop of page Invasiveness
- Proved invasive outside its native range
- Highly adaptable to different environments
- Tolerates, or benefits from, cultivation, browsing pressure, mutilation, fire etc
- Has high reproductive potential
- Has propagules that can remain viable for more than one year
- Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately
- Difficult to identify/detect as a commodity contaminant
- Difficult to identify/detect in the field
UsesTop of page
P. foetida has been used as ground cover for smothering weeds in Malaysia and East Africa (Purseglove, 1979) and to promote organic matter production; however, it is seldom used today as it is difficult to control and rapidly forms a soil seed bank.
It has also been planted as an ornamental vine (probably the reason for its widespread distribution). The seeds are sold for this purpose, specially in Europe (Salvat, 1994; Wettges, 1999), where there are many Passiflora fans that cultivate Passiflora species (http://www.threewa.co.uk/passion/; http://www.media-public.de/passiflora).
P. foetida is an edible plant: the aril is eaten in Colombia (Castañeda, 1991), the fruits are used to make refreshments in Venezuela (Ragonese and Martínez Crovetto, 1947), the row fruits (both seeds and arils) and the young cooked leaves are eaten in Thailand (Phengklai and Khamsai, 1985). Voon and Kueh (1999) studied the nutritional value of the leaves: the protein content is high (6-7 %). The production of fruits per ha reaches 2500 kg (Luna Ercilla, 1992).
P. foetida is also a medicinal plant: it is used to treat diseases affecting women in Costa Rica (Stanley, 1937), the leaves are employed in baths for skin affections (Alzugaray and Alzugaray, 1984), the roots have antispasmodic properties and the flowers have beneficial effects for breast illnesses (Hyeronymus, 1882).
Veterinary practices: common diseases in chickens (Newcastle disease and pediculosis) are treated with different preparations of the fruits, leaves, stem and seeds, given orally or topically, in Ogun State, Nigeria (Eruvbetine and Abegunde, 1998).
Similarities to Other Species/ConditionsTop of page
Several other species of Passiflora are minor weeds throughout the tropics, especially of wasteland and at the edges of native vegetation. They are similar to P. foetida in general form but lack the distinctive glandular hairs which usually cover the shoots and always occur on the bracts surrounding the flowers and fruits. The unique very similar species is P. chrysophylla, the only difference between them being that P. foetida has pedicellate glands on petioles and leaves margins and P. chrysophylla, has sessile glands on the sepals (Deginani, 2001). Cultivated species of passion fruit (Passiflora edulis) may sometimes escape and become naturalized in disturbed native vegetation.
Prevention and ControlTop of page
Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.
P. foetida may best be controlled by uprooting, either directly, or during interrow cultivation and interplant hoeing. It cannot be smothered out, since it tolerates low light intensities and also tends to climb over taller plants. Good field hygiene is important in minimizing the spread and proliferation of the weed; plants should be controlled by whatever means available before they flower and set seed. Composting material should be free of dormant weed seeds.
Grazing is unlikely to be effective due to the objectionable smell (and no doubt taste) of bruised foliage.
Chemical control is only worthwhile in graminaceous crops such as sugarcane or improved pastures, or where the herbicide can be directed away from crop foliage, since foliar application to broad-leaved crops would damage them. Henty and Pritchard (1975) and Kostermans et al. (1987) report that picloram, asulam and ametryne may give shoot kill only in sugarcane in Queensland, Australia, and that amitrole can be used as a directed spray in rubber. Webb and Feez (1987) report that fluroxypyr gives excellent selective control of P. foetida in both sugarcane and sorghum.
The following herbicides are registered for use against Passiflora foetida in Queensland, Australia: diuron + fluroxypyr, atrazine, atrazine + dicamba, fluroxypyr, and 2,4-D + ioxynil (Hamilton 1997).
No attempts have been made at biological control of P. foetida in the field. Some work has been conducted, however, to establish the potential for biological control of the Pasifloraceae. Gardner (1989) showed that a number of weedy Passiflora spp. were susceptible to vascular wilt caused by Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. passiflorae while the cultivated species P. edulis f. flavicarpa was not. Waage et al. (1981) examined the host ranges of a number of heliconius butterflies with a view to their potential for biological control. Chavez et al. (1999) successfully transmited viral pathogens of Passiflora edulis to P. foetida by grafting, mechanical inoculation, and the aphid Aphis gossypii and the chrysomelid beetles Diabrotica sp., Cerotoma sp. and Colaspis sp. However, aphid resistance in the field seems high due the the sticky hairs (Dassanayake and Hicks, 1994), as well as against other insects less than 2 mm (Janzen, 1968).
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