Passiflora incarnata

Tried and Trouble-free Recommended by 1 Professionals
Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: purple passionflower
Type: Vine
Family: Passifloraceae
Native Range: Eastern United States
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 6.00 to 8.00 feet
Spread: 3.00 to 6.00 feet
Bloom Time: July to September
Bloom Description: White with purple crown
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Attracts: Butterflies
Fruit: Showy, Edible
Tolerate: Drought

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Tolerant of drought. Roots appreciate a loose mulch. Spreads by root suckers to cover large areas in optimum growing conditions. Although P. incarnata is the hardiest of the passion flowers, it is not reliably winter hardy throughout USDA Zone 5 and may not survive extremely cold winters therein. In the St. Louis area, it is best to plant this vine in a protected area that is sheltered by a wall, garage or other structure.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Passiflora incarnata is a rapid-growing, tendril-climbing vine which is woody in warm winter climates and herbaceous (dies to the ground) in cold winter climates. A native of the Southeastern U.S., including southern Missouri where it typically occurs in sandy soils, low moist woods and open areas. Features three-lobed, dark green leaves and showy, 2.5" diameter, fringed flowers having white petals and sepals and a central crown of pinkish-purple filaments. Flowers bloom in summer and are fragrant. Fleshy, egg-shaped, edible fruits called maypops appear in July and mature to a yellowish color in fall. Ripened maypops can be eaten fresh off the vine or made into jelly. Maypop is also a common name for this vine. Maypop name refers to the loud popping sound made when fruits are stepped on.

Genus name comes from the Latin words passio meaning passion and flos meaning a flower for the flower's symbolism of the crucifixion of Christ.

Specific epithet means flesh-colored.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Roots can spread aggressively. Root rot can occur in wet, poorly-drained soils, particularly in winter.

Garden Uses

May be used on trellises, arbors, walls or fences. The unique flower and edible fruit make this vine an extremely interesting plant for the garden.