Tetrapathaea tetrandra (Banks ex DC.) Raoul
Passiflora tetrandra is a vigorous, high-climbing, evergreen perennial plant able to grow into the forest canopy and supporting itself by means of tendrils[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of materials. It is grown as an ornamental in gardens.
New Zealand - North and South Islands.
], to the montane zone[
], in North and South Islands, south to 44°south.
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Passiflora tetrandra is not a very cold hardy species, probably able to withstand short periods with temperatures falling to around -8°c, or perhaps a bit lower when it is fully dormant. The rootstock is liable to be a bit more tolerant and, if the top growth does get cut back by the cold, new growth may sprout forth from the roots come late spring.
Requires a well-drained soil with plenty of moisture in the growing season, otherwise it is not fussy[
]. Dislikes highly alkaline soils[
If plants are cut down to the ground by frost they can often regenerate from the base[
]. It is best to apply a good mulch to the roots each winter in order to protect them from the cold[
Roots of outdoor grown plants should be restricted to encourage fruiting[
]. Plants produce tendrils and climb by attaching these to other plants.
If fruit is required, especially when the plant is grown indoors, it is best to hand pollinate using pollen from a flower that has been open for 12 hours to pollinate a newly opened flower before midday[
]. The flowers open in sunny weather and do not open on dull cloudy days[
Plants are very tolerant of pruning and can be cut back to ground level if required to rejuvenate the plant[
]. Any pruning is best carried out in the spring[
Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[
]. The reddish pulp surrounding the seeds is eaten[
]. The orange, subglobose fruit is around 25 - 30mm in diameter[
An edible gum is obtained from the stem[
An oil from the seeds is used as a salve to treat obstinate wounds, chronic sores, sore breasts, chapped nipples etc. The oil is combined with dried and powdered Pittosporum obcordatum (part not specified)) to make a paste and this is applied topically to treat scabies[
The juice of the fruit, combined with a decoction of the root of Phormium tenax, is taken internally as a treatment for flatulence[
The plant can be used as a slow match[
The stem trunk has been used by travellers to carry fire. The stem was cut green, allowed to become quite dry and would then smoulder when set alight[
A fixed oil can be obtained from the seeds[
]. It is valued for preventing rust, and for oiling delicate machinery such as watches etc[
A fragrant body oil can be obtained from the seed[
An essential oil is obtained from the plant[
]. It can be used as a perfume[
A gum obtained from the plant is infused in oil to make it fragrant, and is also used in pomades etc[
]. The gum is obtained by making incisions in the bark in the spring[
The flexible stems are sometimes used as a tying materialfor making frames, fences, platforms etc[
Pre-soak the seed for 12 hours in warm water and then sow late winter or early spring in a warm greenhouse. If sown in January and grown on fast it can flower and fruit in its first year[
]. The seed germinates in 1 - 12 months at 20°c. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. It you are intending to grow the plants outdoors, it is probably best to keep them in the greenhouse for their first winter and plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Mulch the roots well in late autumn to protect them from the cold.
Cuttings of young shoots, 15cm with a heel, in spring[
Leaf bud cuttings in spring.
Cuttings of fully mature wood in early summer. Takes 3 months. High percentage[