Passiflora caerulea

Blue passion flower

Family: Passifloraceae

Origin: South America

Close up of a blue passion flower.
Flowers are blue/purple/white 6-9 cm in diameter, with purple filaments.
Photo credit: Jonathan Boow

Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP) status

  • National Pest Plant Accord Species
  • Whole region — Sustained control

View more about the RPMP statuses

General description

Perennial high-climbing vine < 6 m tall. Stems are hairless with angular shoots and spiralling tendrils. Leaves are five-lobed. Flowers are blue/purple/white and present in summer – autumn. Fruit is green, ripening to yellow.

What you need to know

To help protect our environment:

  • You must not breed, distribute, release or sell blue passion flower. As blue passion flower is a National Pest Plant Accord species, these restrictions apply within the Auckland region and across the whole of New Zealand.
  • You must not plant blue passion flower within the Auckland region, unless you are transferring an existing plant on your land to another location within the boundaries of the same property.
  • You must destroy any blue passion flower on land that you occupy if it has been planted in breach of the above rules and you are directed to do so by an authorised person.

Habitats

Forest margins, riparian and coastal ecosystems, roadsides, light gaps, disturbed areas, wasteland, hedgerows.

Dispersal

Seeds dispersed by birds and possums. Vegetative spread from shoot layering. Human mediated dispersal through dumping of garden waste and deliberate plantings.

Impact on environment

Smothers native vegetation and prevents seedling establishment. May provide food resources to introduced birds and mammals.

Control

Site Management

Cut and pull vines away from desirable trees and native plants before foliar spraying. Follow up treated areas 3 times per year. Encourage natural regeneration of native plants or replant treated areas where possible after 2-3 treatments to establish dense ground cover and minimise reinvasion.

Recommended approaches

Physical control

Method: Cut vines and leave upper stems to die in trees or dig out.

Plant parts requiring disposal: All parts (except vines if left to die in trees).

Disposal options: Compost in a composting weed bag or remove to greenwaste or landfill.

Biocontrol

Biocontrol is currently not available for this species.

Community agrichemical control recommendations

No qualifications:

For small infestations: Cut stump and paste freshly cut base of stems with metsulfuron gel.

Basic Growsafe certified:

For small infestations: Cut stump and spray freshly cut base of stems with 1g metsulfuron-methyl per 1L of water or cut vines at waist height and foliar spray vines on the ground with 0.5g metsulfuron-methyl per 1L of water.

Certified Handler/Experienced agrichemical user:

For medium to large infestations: Cut vines at waist height and foliar spray vines on the ground with 5g metsulfuron-methyl per 10L of water and 20ml penetrant.

Caution: When using any herbicide or pesticide please read the label thoroughly to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

Blue passion flower leaves climbing against other plants with flowers scattered around.
Fruit is 3-5 cm in diameter and ripens from green to yellow.
Photo credit: Jonathan Boow
Blue passion flower crawling up with spindly vines.
Blue passion flower forms large masses in tree canopies, smothering natives.
Photo credit: Jonathan Boow