BLUE PASSION FLOWER
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).