Passiflora mollissima (Kunth) L. H. Bailey
banana poka
Passifloraceae

This light-loving vine can rapidly reach and smother the forest canopy when the sub-canopy vegetation is disturbed either naturally, by hurricanes and other high winds, or by man or feral pigs (La Rosa 1983). Feral pigs are the principal short-distance dispersal agents (Warshauer et al. 1983). Alien frugivorous and granivorous birds as well as man act as long distance dispersal agents. Adaptation to fire is not known. This pest is the subject of an exploration for biological control agents supported by the State Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR). Studies on the biocontrol potential of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. passiflorae are in progress.

There are 3 major infestations on Hawai'i at Hualalai, Laupahoehoe, and Volcano, and another on Kaua'i at Koke'e (Warshauer et al. 1983). A population at upper Waiakoa, Maui, which had been thought to be eradicated has recently been relocated in several adjacent gullies.


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