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  Services » Regional Services » Plant and animal pests » Pest plants » Banana passionfruit

Banana passionfruit

Banana passionfruit

Why it is a pest plant

threatIdentifying features

Production threat Environmental threat Public threat

Identifying features

Banana passionfruit grows up to 10m high over 15 to 20 years, maturing after one year.

Flower

  • Single, hanging, pink tubular flowers, up to 7cm in diameter.
  • Flower tubes are 8-9.5cm long.
  • Flowers January to December.

Fruit/ seed

  • Thin skinned oval fruit up to 12cm long by 3cm across.
  • Initially green, then turning yellow or orange-yellow when ripe.
  • Sweet with edible orange pulp and filled with red-black seeds.

Leaf

  • The leaves are soft, downy and glossy green.
  • Each leaf has three lobes.
  • Lobes are 5-14 cm long (the middle lobe is the longest).
  • Densely hairy leaf stems.

Banana passionfruit grows in coastal areas, lowland and coastal shrublands and forest margins, light gaps, roadsides, wastelands, farm and orchard hedges and domestic gardens. However, it prefers forest and shrubland margins and fertile soil. A large, evergreen perennial vine withlarge pink flowers, it is a vigorous, scrambling plant that can smother trees, reducing native biodiversity.

Banana passionfruit produces large sweet fruit which attract pest animals.The fruit contains many seeds that are dispersed by a variety of native and introduced birds, as well as pests such as possums, rats and pigs.

Related species

Blue passion flower (Passiflora caerulea) has five-lobed leaves, non-tubular whitish-purple flowers with purple filaments. Blue passionflower is banned from sale, propagation, distribution or commercial display under the National Pest Plant Accord.

Banana passionfruit covering trees

Responsibility for control

All landowners/occupiers in the Waikato are responsible for controlling banana passionfruit on their properties and are required to work with Waikato Regional Council in areas where control programmes are in place. Banana passionfruit is also banned from being sold, propagated, distributed or included in commercial displays.

How to control banana passionfruit

Physical control

Hand pull whenever possible or dig plant out at the roots. Cut off above ground or tie stems in air to prevent layering.

Herbicide control

In choosing your method of herbicide control, be aware that the climbing character of the plant could mean that the supporting plants may also be damaged by herbicide sprays used.

Cut and paste

To avoid damage to supporting plants, cut main stems at ground level and treat stems immediately with glyphosate, metsulfuron or picloram gel.

Spray application

If supporting plant damage isn’t an issue, spray with glyphosate plus penetrant, triclopyr or triclopyr/picloram mix.

Safety when using herbicides

  • Follow the instructions on the manufacturer’s label.
  • Always wear protective clothing.
  • Always minimise the risk to your other plants.
  • Contact the supplier for further advice.

Summary of herbicides and application methods for control

Herbicide

Application


Glyphosate, metsulfuron or picloram gel Cut and paste treatment.
Glyphosate plus penetrant or triclopyr,triclopyr/picloram mix Spray application.
Herbicide rules will apply. You may need to notify neighbours if spraying. The Waikato Regional Plan explains the agrichemical (herbicides) use rule in section 6.2.
If applying herbicide over water, a resource consent may be required. Please check with Waikato Regional Council before you begin.

Management

After initial control, it’s important to:

  • clean out the site again at least annually to control regrowth
  • stop weeds invading by replanting with non-pest plants (preferably natives) once regrowth is no longer a problem.

More information

Advice

  • For advice and additional information on control methods, call our pest plant staff on freephone 0800 BIOSEC (0800 246 732).
  • Chemical company representatives, farm supply stores and garden centres can also be good sources for advice.

Publications

View, download or order the following publications or call our freephone 0800 800 401.

  • National Pest Plant Accord (Manual of plants banned from sale, propagation and distribution) ($10.00 plus GST)
  • Plant Me Instead! (Plants to use in place of common pest plants) (free)
  • Waikato Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP) (free) (Section 5.6, page 52)
  • Waikato Regional Council pest guide (free)
  • What makes a pest a pest? A summary of the Waikato Regional Pest Management Plan (free)

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