Common names (selected): English: goat-scented passionflower, love-in-a-mist, mossy passion flower, red fruit passion flower, stinking passionflower, scarlet fruited passion flower, wild passion fruit, wild water lemon; Chinese: 毛西番蓮 (passiflora); French: marie goujeat, passiflore fétide; Indonesia: buah tikus, ceplukan blunsun, katceprek, katjeprek, lemanas, permot, permot rajutan, rambaton blunsun; Malaysia: pokok lang bulu, timun dendang; Mauritius: poc-poc sauvage; Philippines: kurunggut; lupok-lupok; masaflora; melon meleonan; pasionariang-mabaho; prutas taungan; Portuguese (Brazil): maracajusinho, maracujá catinga, maracujá de cheiro, maracujá de cobra, maracujá de estalo, maracujá de lagartinho, maracujá fedorento, maracuja-da-petra; Spanish: ataco, corona de Cristo, granadilla, mburucuyá, mburucuyá aceitosa, mburucuyá menor, mburucuyá miní, mburucuyá rastrero, pasionaria, pasionaria hedionda, pocoto (Argentina); granadilla colorada, granadilla silvestre, norbo cimarrón, pedón (Bolivia); bejuco canastilla, chulupa de loma, cinco Ilagas, cocorilla, curubo, flor de la passion (Columbia); gulupo caguajasa (Cuba); granadilla colorado; granadilla montes; caguazo; mariballa (Dominican Republic); sandia de culebra (El Salvador); clavellin blanco (Honduras); clavellín blanco, granadilla, jujito peludo, jujo (Mexico); catapanza (Nicaragua); hóntayek, mburucuyá (Paraguay); bolsa mullaca, granadilla, granadilla cimarrona, puru-puru (Peru); flor de pasion sylvestre, silvestre, tagua tagua (Puerto Rico); cojón de gato, parchita de culebra, parchita de montana (Venezeula); Vietnamese: chum bao
Description: Annual or perennial herbaceous vine. P. foetida is able to trap insects on its bracts, which exude a sticky substance that also contains digestive enzymes. This minimizes predation on young flowers and fruits. Whether or not the plant gains nourishment from its prey is uncertain, and it is currently considered a protocarnivorous plant.
Native regions and distribution: P. foetida is native to Southwestern US, Central America, South America and the West Indies, but is now widely naturalized throughout the tropics and subtropics.
Urban habitat: Germination most commonly occurs in cropland after cultivation where the soil has been disturbed and is moist and warm. It is also commonly seen in neglected areas such as along roadsides, fences, riverbanks, and other frequently disturbed sites. Dormant, but viable seeds are able to survive in the soil for many years.
Ecological functions: Food and habitat for insects and birds.
History / human uses: Foetida means "stinking" in Latin, referring to the strong aroma emitted by its damaged foliage. P. foetida has been used as ground cover for smothering weeds in Malaysia and East Africa and to promote organic matter production although it is seldom used today as it is difficult to control and rapidly forms a soil seed bank. P. foetida is used for its medicinal properties: to treat diseases affecting women in Costa Rica, the leaves are employed in baths for skin affections, the roots have antispasmodic properties, and the flowers have beneficial effects for breast illnesses. Its leaves and fruit have been found to have antibacterial properties and are used in many parts of the tropical and subtropical world to treat diarrhea, fever, skin diseases, and infections of the intestinal tract, throat, and ear. P. foetida is an edible plant: the aril is eaten in Colombia, the fruits are used to make refreshments in Venezuela, and the young cooked leaves are eaten in Thailand. It has also been planted widely as an ornamental vine.