Passiflora foetida (PASSIFLORACEAE) Stinking Passion Vine

Weeds to Whack

A vine with a climbing and scrambling habit to 9 m. Produces tendrils for support from the bases of the leaves. Native to tropical America. A widespread weed in South-East Queensland especially on roadsides and 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.

Leaves, tendrils, sepals and green fruit. Photo: Kerrie Lock


Flowers are typical of the passionfruit family and pinkish or white in colour (3-5 cm across). Fruit are dry berries which change from green to yellow and orange. Fruit are 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.

Photo: Kerrie Lock