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Passiflora foetida L.

Family Name: Passifloraceae
Common Name: Running Pop, Love-in-a-mist, Wild Water Lemon, Stinking Passionflower
Full Sun: 6-8h Lots of Water Caterpillar Food Plant Fruit & Vegetable Ornamental Flowers Climber, Vine and Liana


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Climber, Vine & Liana
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Maximum Height 3.5 m to 5 m
Maximum Plant Spread / Crown Width 2 m


Native Distribution South America

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Herbaceous climber grows up to 1.5-6 m tall.
Foliage Large, hairy leaves are usually tri-lobed with ovate to angular lobes. They are spirally arranged with one leaf per node. Crushed leaves produce an unpleasant odour. Leaves are cyanogenic (produces cyanide) and toxic.
Stems Stems are round and hairy.
Flowers White flowers are marked with a ring of radially oriented purple streaks. Blossoms open in the morning, but close by about noon. This species is free-flowering. They have a minty fragrance.
Fruits Red or orange, ellipsoid fruits have fleshy pulp and small, black seeds. Fruits are surrounded by finely dissected, needle-like bracts. Although young fruits are toxic and cyanogenic, ripe fruits are edible and taste like Passiflora edulis fruits.
Habitat Found in the Amazon rainforest and mountain ranges along the coast. This species is a weed in rice paddies and other crop fields.
Cultivation This species should be planted in fertile, well-drained soil. It is susceptible to the passionfruit mosaic virus.
Etymology The species epithet "foetida" refers to the foul smell released by crushed leaves.
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts (Edible Fruits)
Food (Fruit & Vegetable : In Surinam and Java, young leaves are cooked and consumed as a vegetable. However, uncooked leaves may be toxic.)
Medicinal ( Leaf extracts contain anti-inflammatory compounds and provided pain relief in mice.)
Agriculture - Forestry ( In the Philippines and Papua New Guinea, it is planted as a soil cover in crop fields to reduce erosion and prevent the spread of weedy grasses, such as Imperata cylindrica.)

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers, Ornamental Fruits
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Well-Drained Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils
Landscape Uses Trellis / Arbour / Pergola

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Caterpillar Food Plant (Leaves)
Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna) (Insects (Bee), Insects (Ant, Beetle, Fly, Thrip, Wasp))

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Lots of Water
Propagation Method Seed


Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Palmate)
Foliar Venation Palmate
Foliar Margin Palmately Lobed

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Purple, White
Flower Symmetry Radial
Flowering Period Free-Flowering
Flowering Habit Polycarpic

Fruit, Seed & Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Orange, Red
Mature Fruit Texture(s) Smooth
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Fleshy Fruit

Image Repository



Master ID 170
Species ID 1466
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 16 May 2019.