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Banana Passion Flower, Banana Poke

Passiflora mollissima

Family: Passifloraceae (pas-ih-flor-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Passiflora (pass-iff-FLOR-uh) (Info)
Species: mollissima (maw-LISS-ih-muh) (Info)
Synonym:Murucuia mollissima
Synonym:Tasconia mollissima
Synonym:Passiflora tomentosa var. mollissima
Synonym:Passiflora tripartita var. mollissima


Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Vines and Climbers

Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)


USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:



Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Blooms repeatedly


Grown for foliage



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From softwood cuttings

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

By simple layering

By air layering

Seed Collecting:

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed; clean and dry seeds

Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Alameda, California

Albany, California

San Francisco, California

San Leandro, California

Westmoreland, Tennessee

Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 12, 2010, markrs from San Carlos, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

Passiflora tripartita var. mollissima is not the plant most commonly called "P. mollissima", which is actually P. tarminiana. Myles Irvine's Passiflora site (Passiflora Online) has a description of the confusion under the P. tarminiana entry.

P. tripartita var. mollissima is not the invasive species found in Hawaii and is not what you will likely get if you buy "P. mollissima" seeds or plants. P. tarminiana is relatively common in cultivation (and almost always given the incorrect name P. mollissima), whereas P. tripartita var. mollissima is much harder to find.

I've submitted a photo of the true P. tripartita var. mollissima. The petals are short relative to the very long floral tube and the flower never opens past a bell shape (it never opens flat).... read more


On Jan 24, 2004, jermainiac from Seattle, WA (Zone 8a) wrote:

Initially introduced for ornament and fruit, P. mollissima has become one of the worst forest destroying weeds in the Hawaiian islands, covering thousands of acres of forest on the Big Island and Kaua'i.

On the path up to Kalala'u Valley lookout, this plant was everywhere. Growing into the native trees, covering the hillside. Very pretty flowers and big fruits.


On Aug 25, 2003, Pitch from Port Washington, NY wrote:

Passiflora Mollisima, which in Hawai'i (Kaua'i at least) is known as Banana Polka, is invasive in Kaua'i and other tropical climates. Therefore before planting it make sure you will be able to contain the plant. Seeds can be harvested from fruit after it is yellow (when ripe). Fruit has nice, tangy taste when ripe. Water plant regularly. Very pretty flowers. Enjoy!