Passiflora tarminiana_Barry Rice
Photo by Barry Rice

Passiflora tarminiana Risk Assessment

Common names: banana passionfruit

Passiflora tarminiana -- California

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Evaluation Summary
Summary: 
General Evaluation Information
Date of Evaluation: 
August 30, 2016
Evaluation Time (hrs): 
3 Hours
Evaluation Status: 
Completed
Plant Information
Plant Material: 
If the plant is a cultivar, and if the cultivar's behavior differs from its parent's (behavior), explain how: 
Regional Information
Region Name: 
Climate Matching Map
These maps were built using a toolkit created in collaboration between GreenInfo Network, PlantRight, Cal-IPC, and Agricultural Sustainability Institute at UC Davis.
Climate Matching Maps PDF: 
Invasive History and Climate Matching
1. Has the species (or cultivar or variety, if applicable; applies to subsequent "species" questions) become naturalized where it is not native?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
1
Confidence Level: 
High
Answer / Justification: 
Naturalized in California. Present in 4 counties according to Calflora. Native to Central America and naturalized in Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand and Africa.
Reference(s): 
2. Is the species (or cultivar or variety) noted as being naturalized in the US or world in a similar climate?
Yes or No: 
No
Points: 
0
Confidence Level: 
High
Answer / Justification: 
Naturalized in California. Present in 4 counties according to Calflora Native to Central America and naturalized in Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand and Africa, however none of the locations in GBIF match California's climate.
Reference(s): 
3. Is the species (or cultivar or variety) noted as being invasive in the U.S. or world?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
2
Confidence Level: 
High
Answer / Justification: 
P. tarminiana is now recognized as the only banana passionfruit taxon in Hawaii (HEAR, 2012) and, since its introduction there in the early 1900s, it has spread to infest thousands of acres of native forest (HEAR, 2012). PIER (2012) has assessed its weed risk assessment score at a very high 24.
Reference(s): 
4. Is the species (or cultivar or variety) noted as being invasive in the US or world in a similar climate?
Yes or No: 
No
Points: 
0
Confidence Level: 
High
Answer / Justification: 
Although P. tarminana is considered invasive in Hawaii and New Zealand, none of those areas are in climates which match California.
Reference(s): 
5. Are other species of the same genus (or closely related genera) invasive in a similar climate?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
1
Confidence Level: 
Medium
Answer / Justification: 
Passiflora subpeltata is native to Brazil and is escaping cultivation and is "widespread along the coast on rainforest margins and moist open forest" in Australia in climates which match California.
Reference(s): 
6. Is the species (or cultivar or variety) found predominately in a climate matching the region of concern?
Yes or No: 
No
Points: 
0
Confidence Level: 
High
Answer / Justification: 
Although P. tarminana is naturalized in Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand and Africa, none of these regions match California's climate.
Impact on Native Plants and Animals
7. Does this plant displace native plants and dominate (overtop or smother) the plant community in areas where it has established?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
1
Confidence Level: 
High
Answer / Justification: 
However, in Hawaii, and increasingly elsewhere, its vigorous climbing and scrambling growth makes it an aggressive and damaging invader of forest and scrub once these environments have been opened up by natural or human disturbance. It has proved capable of smothering even tall forest trees in both tropical and sub-tropical climates. According to Binggeli (1997, in ISSG, 2012), P. tarminiana ‘suppresses tree regeneration, topples shallow-rooted trees, kills standing trees through shading and lowers species richness’ (CABI).
8. Is the plant noted as promoting fire and/or changing fire regimes?
Yes or No: 
No
Points: 
0
Confidence Level: 
Medium
Answer / Justification: 
There is no information on whether P. tarminana promotes or changes fire regimes.
Reference(s): 
9. Is the plant a health risk to humans or animals/fish? Has the species been noted as impacting grazing systems?
Yes or No: 
No
Points: 
0
Confidence Level: 
Low
Answer / Justification: 
Some members of the Passiflora genus are noted as producing cyanide in all their parts as a protection against insects and animals eating them. There are no references specifically referring to P. tarminiana toxicity. There is no specific mention of this species impacting grazing, though it could hinder movement of cattle due to thick growth.
Reference(s): 
10. Does the plant produce impenetrable thickets, blocking or slowing movement of animals, livestock, or humans?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
1
Confidence Level: 
High
Answer / Justification: 
P. tarminana over-tops and topples trees, and causes dense growth which would not allow human and animal passage.
Reference(s): 
Reproductive Strategies
11. Does this species (or cultivar or variety) reproduce and spread vegetatively?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
1
Confidence Level: 
High
Answer / Justification: 
The invasiveness of banana passionfruit is further exacerbated by the ability to utilize vegetative reproduction as stems as short as 5 cm that become detached or partially buried are able to re-root and continue growing.
12. If naturally detached fragments from this plant are capable of producing new plants, is this a common method of reproduction for the plant?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
1
Confidence Level: 
High
Answer / Justification: 
The invasiveness of banana passionfruit is further exacerbated by the ability to utilize vegetative reproduction as stems as short as 5 cm that become detached or partially buried are able to re-root and continue growing.
13. Does the species (or cultivar or variety) commonly produce viable seed?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
1
Confidence Level: 
High
Answer / Justification: 
The large edible fruits contain numerous seeds which readily germinate.
Reference(s): 
14. Does this plant produce copious viable seeds each year (> 1000)?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
1
Confidence Level: 
High
Answer / Justification: 
P. tarminana fruits each can produce between 32 and 213 seeds with an average of 108 (Beavon 2007). Since the vines have indeterminate growth it is likely a plant could produce 10 or more fruits for a total of 1,000.
15. Is there significant germination (>25%) of seeds the next growing season, with no requirement of an infrequent environmental condition for seeds to germinate (i.e. fire) or long dormancy period?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
1
Confidence Level: 
Medium
Answer / Justification: 
Seeds require a short period of after-ripening. Germination is staggered and most seedlings emerge within 4 to 12 weeks.
Reference(s): 
16. Does this plant produce viable seed within the first three years (for an herbaceous species) to five years (for a woody species) after germination?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
1
Confidence Level: 
High
Answer / Justification: 
Plants can grow from seed to flowering in about one year (La Rosa, 1984).
Reference(s): 
17. Does this plant continuously produce seed for >3 months each year or does seed production occur more than once a year?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
1
Confidence Level: 
High
Answer / Justification: 
Plants can grow from seed to flowering in about one year (La Rosa, 1984). The same author found that in Hawaii all phases of flowering were concentrated in the drier summer months (May - August), and fruiting in the wet winter months (December - March). Another author notes, in Hawaii "Flowers can be found all months of the year and fruit is copiously produced."
Reference(s): 
Dispersal
18. Are the plant’s propagules frequently dispersed long distance (>100 m) by mammals or birds or via domestic animals?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
1
Confidence Level: 
High
Answer / Justification: 
P. tarminana seed is spread by feral pigs and native birds in Hawaii (PIER, 2012), and by introduced feral pigs and Australian brush-tailed possums in New Zealand (Beavon 2007).
19. Are the plant’s propagules frequently dispersed long distance (>100 m) by wind or water?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
1
Confidence Level: 
Medium
Answer / Justification: 
Non-biotic natural dispersal is unlikely to occur, except to some degree by water, as this species tends to spread along water courses.
Reference(s): 
20. Are the plant’s propagules frequently dispersed via contaminated seed (agriculture or wildflower packets), equipment, vehicles, boats or clothing/shoes?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
1
Confidence Level: 
High
Answer / Justification: 
The most likely avenue of introduction is deliberate actions by humans in importing seed or plants as a potential crop or as a garden ornamental.
Reference(s): 
Evaluation Notes

GBIF: http://www.gbif.org/species/3587792

CABI: http://www.cabi.org/isc/datasheet/119428

HEAR: http://www.hear.org/species/reports/pasmol_fskm_awwa_report.pdf

PIER: http://www.hear.org/pier/species/passiflora_tarminiana.htm

Note from Lynn Sweet:

On the taxonomy, it is a little troubling, with GRIN having separate entries for P. tarminiana and Passiflora tripartita (Juss.) Poir. var. mollissima (Kunth) Holm-Niels. & P. Jorg., but USDA plants listing these as synonyms. PIER indicates that the problematic species is P. tarminiana, uses the common name banana poka, and some of the information is from sources attributed to P. mollissima. However, much of the PRE evidence is from Hawaii, so in either case, the scores are valid.

http://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=PATA6

Reviewed by Lynn Sweet.

 

Total PRE Score

  • < 13 : accept (low risk of invasiveness)
  • 13 - 15 : evaluate further
  • > 15 : reject (high risk of invasiveness)

PRE Score: 
16
Number of questions answered: 
20
Screener Confidence (%): 
74.0
PRE Content Access and Privacy
Evaluation visibility: 
Public - accessible to all site users

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