General description

Passiflora foetida (common names: wild maracuja, bush passion fruit, marya-marya, wild water lemon, stinking passionflower, love-in-a-mist or running pop – “foetida”, means “stinking” in Latin and refers to the strong aroma emitted by damaged foliage)

The fruit is globose, 2–3 cm diameter, yellowish-orange to red when ripe, and has numerous black seeds embedded in the pulp; the fruit are eaten and the seeds dispersed by birds.

Passiflora foetida is able to trap insects on its bracts. This minimizes predation on young flowers and fruits. It is currently considered a protocarnivorous plant.

When can I pick it?

When the fruit is ripe. Don’t eat the unripen ones!


  • Fully ripe fruit – raw. Sweet and juicy. Do not eat the under-ripe fruit since it can be toxic
  • Young leaves and plant tips are also edible. Can be used as an ingredient in soups


  • Dry leaves are used in tea in Vietnamese folk medicine to relieve sleeping problems, as well as treatment for itching and coughs.
  • Children’s anthelmintic (for intestinal nematodes and flatworms) : use the liquid of the fresh, whole plant
  • The root is antispasmodic
  • Colds and chest coughs : decoction of the dried plant
  • Used for tuberculosis
  • Sleeping disorders : Make a juice with the mashed leaves, combined with those of Erythrina variegate
  • Snake bites : Freshed young leaves are mashed and then rubbed on to the wound
  • Antimicrobial : use the leaves
  • Anti-inflammatory and pain relief : Use leaf extracts
  • In the garden : The plant is used as a ground cover and as a hedge. Useful to reduce erosion and prevent the spread of weedy grasses
  • Substances in the leaves deter feeding insects

Side effects

  • The unripe fruits contain cyanide and are poisonous
  • It can cause poisoning to animals, after the ingestion of fresh leaves, mostly during the dry season

Pictures from the garden

Categories: Plants