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Plant Informational Database

Banana Passion Fruit

Passiflora mollissima

a.k.a. Curuba, Banana poka

A yellow, oval shaped passion fruit with bright yellow skin and orange pulp. Pulp is edible and very tasty, though generally not as esteemed as the purple passion fruit. Often used in juice making.

Seed Availability

Seeds are now available at our seed store.


Generally subtropical to tropical. Extremely fast growing vine in where temperatures stay above 28F. Usually found in the Andes at elevations of 6000-7000ft. Vines usually produce by the second year and can yield up to 300 fruits a vine when in full production. Beautiful red-pink flowers are borne at the ends of a long stalk. Flowers may attract hummingbirds. Fruits can ripen year round.


Hardy to the mid 20's (F). May defoliate or die back in colder areas but will regrow from roots.

Growing Environment

Flourishes in subtropical and warm-temperate regions. In the tropics the vine generally does best at higher elevations, though it can be grown anywhere.


Almost always grown from seeds, but can be propagated by cuttings. Bottom heating the seeds at 70-80F can result in germination at 1-2 weeks, at lower temperatures seeds can take up to 10 weeks to germinate.

Germination Info

It is recommended to pretreat Passiflora seeds before planting. They contain a hard seed coat and are very slow to sprout. There are various pretreatment methods, but the simplest is to soak the seeds for 24-48 hours in warm to the touch water, just prior to planting. Optionally, seeds can be lightly scarified with sand paper to provide some permeation on the seed coat.

Once pretreated, plant seeds 1/2-1" deep in moist, sterile soil. Keep soil temperature consistent at 70-85F, with some day/variation in this range. Cool soils will significantly delay seed germination time if not inhibit germination altogether. Standard room temperature can be too cool for proper germination.

Estimated germination time under optimal conditions: 6 weeks to 6 months. Some seeds can take up to 12 months to sprout.


Eaten fresh or as flavoring for drinks. Commonly used in parts of South America to flavor ice creams, drinks, and cocktails.

Native Range

Native to scrub-land regions of Central Brazil. The species is regionally popular, but not cultivated. The banana passion fruit is potentially an extremely invasive species in certain climates. It is now widespread in parts of South Africa, Asia, and upper elevation areas of several Pacific islands including Hawaii. In Hawaii, the banana passion fruit (or more commonly, the banana poka) occurs at elevations from 2000-7000ft, with serious invasions in 4000-6000ft areas with high rainfall. Banana passion fruit vines crow high into forest canopies and smother native vegetation from light. The fruits and subsequently seeds, are spread by birds, feral pigs, and humans. In cooler climates and those that receive yearly frost, the vine is much more controllable and makes a beautiful garden ornamental.

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