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Passiflora foetida (PASSIFLORACEAE) Stinking Passion Vine

Image: Habit

Photo: Robert Whyte

A vine with a climbing habit and tendrils for support native to tropical America - a widespread weed, especially of disturbed sites in forests.

Stems to 4 m long have an unpleasant odour. Can be almost hairless (subglabrous) to a sparse or dense covering of white or yellow sticky hairs.

Leaves most often have three rounded lobes with pointed tips, but sometimes they are entire or five-lobed, alternately arranged along the stem, leaf stalks (petioles) 1-6 cm long, sticky hairs along margins. At the base of each leaf stalk is a tendril and a 1 cm long threadlike appendage (stipule) with sticky glands.

Flowers are typical of the passionfruit family and pinkish or white in colour (3-5 cm across). Fruit are dry berries partially enclosed by persistent, deeply-divided sepals with sticky (glandular) hairs.

Can be distinguished from two other similar species, corky passion vine (Passiflora suberosa) and white passion flower (Passiflora subpeltata), by its hairy leaves.