The old ruins in our family property in Central Java are fully covered with tangling, trailing plants. The invasion is dominated by a plant species with familiar flowers. I am thinking that I have seen similar flower before.
The locals in Central Java name this plant ‘Ceplukan Blungsun’ and in English it is called ‘Wild Passion Fruit’ and the botanic name is ‘Passiflora foetida”. It is also called ‘Stinking Passionflower’, ‘Mossy Passion Fruit’ or ‘Love in The Mist’ and many other names.
It is said that Passiflora foetida is native to the Amazon rainforest, but it has spread to many other parts of the world including Western parts of Australia and Indonesia.
From the distance, I can see the white Chinese geese eating the small yellow fruits. They have told me that they are edible but I cannot find the ripe ones near me. The geese have eaten them all. Other ripened fruits are too far away…. out of reach. The idea to walk through a thick mat of thorny weeds is difinitely not a good thing to do. The fruits are nothing like those passion fruits that you can buy in the shop as they are much smaller, the size of a small olive. The colour is supposed to be orange-yellow. When still green, the fruits are encased in some kind of green net. They look quite peculiar.
The three lobed leaves are quite large and covered with fine prickly thorns while the spiralled tendrils are trying to find something to hold on to. The beautiful flowers are white with purple colour in the middle.
This wild passion fruit plant aka. Passiflora foetida is a very invasive plant and the seeds are easily spread by animals that eat the juicy fruits.
Standing there, I can’t imagine how to get rid of these climbing plants if someone wants to clean up the place ……………….