Devil’s pumpkin

Devil’s pumpkin

Passiflora suberosa (Passifloraceae)

Common Name:

Devil’s pumpkin

Scientific Name:

Passiflora suberosa (Passifloraceae)

Alternative common names:

Devils pumpkin (English)


A tendril climber reaching up to 6m high which is smooth to densely hairy. The stems become corky when older. It has deeply three-lobed leaves and the flowers have greenish-yellow sepals and no petals. Flowers appear from November to April followed by a  purple or black fruit. Poisonous stems, leaves and unripe fruit. It invades forests, woodlands, bush clumps, roadsides, river banks and coastal dunes.

Additional Information

Where does this species come from?

South America

What is its invasive status in South Africa?

Existing legislation: CARA 2002 - Category 1 NEMBA - Category 1b

Where in South Africa is it a problem?

KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga

How does it spread?

This species reproduces by seed, which are mainly spread by birds and other animals that eat its fruit

Why is it a problem?

Scrambles up and competes with indigenous species and poisonous

What does it look like?

General description: Glabrous to densely hairy perennial and tendril climber, up to 6m high with angular stems.
Leaves: Oval and entire to deeply three-lobed leaves with small linear stipules.
Flowers: Sepals greenish-yellow, petals absent, coronal filaments white, yellow at the apex, purple below. Flowers from November-April.
Fruit/Seeds: Purple to black glabrous berries about 20mm long

Does the plant have any uses?

Used as an ornament

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