CABI - Passiflora tarminiana (banana passionfruit)
Although the species P. tripartita var. mollissima (formerly P. mollissima) and P. mixta have been reported as invasive in several countries, notably Hawaii, Australia and New Zealand, recent changes in the taxonomy of these species have meant that the distribution and invasiveness of P. tarminiana and other species of Passiflora is less clearly defined. However, P. tarminiana is now recognized as the only banana passionfruit taxon in Hawaii (HEAR, 2012) and, since its introduction there in the early 1900s, it has spread to infest thousands of acres of native forest (HEAR, 2012). PIER (2012) has assessed its weed risk assessment score at a very high 24.
The species’ climbing habit makes it hard to find and therefore control, and its seed is spread by feral pigs and native birds in Hawaii (PIER, 2012), and by introduced feral pigs and Australian brush-tailed possums in New Zealand (Beavon, 2007). It can spread rapidly and covers the ground, shrubs and even tall-growing trees, preventing regeneration, disrupting ecological processes and threatening biodiversity.
Rejmánek (2009) reported that the species can now be confirmed as invasive in California.