Passiflora incarnata 'Alba'

Tried and Trouble-free Recommended by 1 Professionals
Common Name: passion flower
Type: Vine
Family: Passifloraceae
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
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Showy
Leaf: 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

This passion flower cultivar is a rapid-growing, tendril-climbing vine which is woody in warm winter climates and herbaceous (dies to the ground) in cold winter climates. Species is native to southern Missouri where it typically occurs in sandy soils, low moist woods and open areas. 'Alba' is identical to the species except the flowers are white. Features three-lobed, dark green leaves and showy, 2.5" diameter, complex, strikingly fringed, white flowers which rise on stalks from the leaf axils. Flowers bloom throughout the summer and are fragrant. Early Spanish missionaries to the New World reportedly likened the flower's floral parts to the elements of the Passion of Christ, thus giving rise to the common name. Flowers give way to fleshy, egg-shaped, edible fruits called maypops. Greenish maypops ripen to yellow at which point they can be eaten fresh off the vine or made into jelly. Maypop name refers to the loud popping sound made when fruits are stepped on.

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.