Banana Poka (Passiflora mollisima)
BANANA POKA (PASSIFLORA TARMINIANA) synonym: P. mollissima
Hawaii Pacific Weed Risk Assessment: 24 High Risk
Regulatory Status: Hawaii Noxious Weed List
Prevention and Control Category: none
Fast growing climbing vine. Large showy pink flowers. Produces many elongated fruit that are yellow in color when ripe. Fruit contain an orange pulp with hundreds of seeds. leaves are dark green and have three distinct lobes.
Found in disturbed areas, open fields and around fresh water habitats. P. tarminiana will readily climb and smother trees. Fruit provides a food source for non-native animals. Seeds are dispersed by birds and feral pigs. Dense curtains of the vine can extend to the ground from canopy branches, sometimes causing branches to break and toppling trees during storms. Where the canopy has been opened, dense mats of vines also cover the understory trees and shrubs and inhibit regeneration of the native trees (Mueller-Dombois et al. 1980).
Kauai: Widespread in the Koke’e area
Maui: Currently restricted to the Kula area
Big Island: Widespread