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Have you seen Banana poka (Passiflora tarminiana)?
Hawaii Early Detection Network Priority Pest for the island of Molokai

Rubber vine flower detail
Flower and fruit
Rubber vine detail
Banana poka is noticeable when it hangs from roadside shrubs or powerlines
Rubber vine
Inside of fruit
Images: Forest & Kim Starr

Identification: Banana poka is an agressive semi-woody vine in the passionfruit family that smothers trees, fences, pastures,farm land, and forests. It covers thousands of acres on Hawaii and Kauai and has become a widespread pest on the island of Maui (upcountry East Maui, see map) It is not out of control yet in Molokai. This semi-woody vine in the passionfruit family has banana-yellow oblong fruits filled with orange pulp and black seeds. The pendant tublular pink flowers hang down from the vine and are very noticeable. Leaves have 3 deep lobes, and are hairy underneath and hairless on top.
Impacts: Banana poka seeds have high rats of germination (up to 540,000 seedlings per ha), both in sunny open areas and shady forested areas. Once established the vine will overgrow and smother vegetation. It is a Hawaii noxious weed, which makes it illegal to introduce or transport any part of this plant in Hawaii. Biocontrol agents have been introduced to slow the spread of this vine.
Dispersal Mechanism: Banana poka is native to the Andes, but has been spread throughout the tropics as a garden plant. It was introduced to Hawaii in 1926, and has now spread to the islands of Hawaii, Maui, and Kauai. The fruits of this relative of passion fruit are eaten by pigs and birds, who then will carry the seeds long distances. If you see it anywhere on Molokai- let someone know!

More information about this pest external link

Banana poka look-alikes:


Passionfruit fruit (Passiflora edulis)

Passionfruit species (Passiflora species):
A variety of passionfruit types grow in Hawaii. Bananana poka can be distinguished by its tubular pink flowers, and oblong yellow fruit.


Passionfruit (Passiflora edulis) does not have the long, tubular flower shape

Last Updated: Monday January 30 2012. If you have any questions about the Hawaii Early Detection Network contact
Funding and support for this project was made possible by the Hawai'i Invasive Species Council, the USDA Forest Service State and Private Forestry assistance, and University of Hawai'i-Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit.