NZ Lifestyle Block - - A COUNTRY LIFE -

THIS SOUTH AMER­I­CAN beauty is a mem­ber of the pas­sion­fruit fam­ily but it has turned into a bit of a beast in parts of New Zealand, spread­ing into nat­u­ral ar­eas and smoth­er­ing na­tive plants. Its seed is spread by birds and pos­sums, and it also grows from lay­er­ing, where stems touch the ground, form­ing roots and new plants.

It’s a vig­or­ous, ev­er­green, high-climb­ing vine to 6m+ with long stems that are hair­less and an­gu­lar when young, with spi­ralling ten­drils. Leaves are very thin and 5-lobed al­most to the base, with each lobe 3-8cm long and nar­row. Its hang­ing whitish-pur­ple flow­ers (6-9cm di­am­e­ter) with pur­ple fil­a­ments are pro­duced from De­cem­ber to April, fol­lowed by hang­ing round fruit (3-5cm di­am­e­ter) that ripens from green to yel­low, has small amounts of ined­i­ble pulp, and con­tains sil­ver-brown seeds (4mm long).

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