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Passiflora incarnata

Common Name(s):
Maypop, Passion flower
Edible Plants, Native Plants, Perennials, Vines, Wildflowers

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. It is a native of the Southeastern U.S. Its bark is green and smooth and coarsely grained.

Maypop is also a common name for this vine. Maypop name refers to the loud popping sound made when fruits are stepped on.

This variety is the most hardy of all passion flowers. It does not have to climb in order to flower. 

Regions:  Mountain, Piedmont, Coastal plains

Seasons of Interest: 

  Blooms:  Summer            Nut/Fruit/Seed:  Late summer/fall

Wildlife Value:   This plant is moderately resistant to damage from deer. It is a host plant for the Gulf Fritillary, Verigated Fritillary and Zebra swallowtail butterflies. Hummingbirds and butterflies nectar from the flowers in the summer. Its fruit may be eaten by songbirds, small mammals and some larger mammals.   

Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems:  The roots can spread aggressively. Root rot can occur in wet, poorly-drained soils, particularly in winter.

Spring, summer
Vine, 6-8ft.
Flower Color:
White with purple crown
The Passion flower features three-lobed, dark green leaves and 3-lobed leaves, 3-5 in. wide. The leaves are toothed. It has a pair of prominent glands on the leaf stalk.
The Passion flower has fringed flowers (2-3") having white petals and sepals and a central crown of pinkish-purple filaments. The flowers bloom in summer and are fragrant. Fleshy, 2 inch 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.
The Passion flower is easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. It is tolerant of drought. The 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.
Fleshy, egg shaped
Well drained
Ripened maypops can be eaten fresh off the vine or made into jelly.
Growth Rate:
Climbing Method:
Trailing; tendrils
Life Cycle:
Perennial vine
sun, songbirds, summer, blue, deciduous, white, wildflower, perennial, hummingbirds, lavender, showy fruit, vine, edible fruit, spring, butterflies

NCCES plant id: 2311

Passiflora incarnata Passiflora incarnata
Maggie McCaine, CC BY-SA - 4.0
Passiflora incarnata Passiflora incarnata
John Brandauer, CC BY-NC-ND - 4.0
Passiflora incarnata Passiflora incarnata
Dinesh Valke, CC BY-SA - 4.0
Passiflora incarnata Agraulis vanillae incarnata, Gulf Fritallary Caterpillar on Passiflora incarnata leaf
Sarah, CC BY-SA - 4.0
Passiflora incarnata Passiflora incarnata is a host plant for Agraulis vanillae incarnata, Gulf Fritallary Butterfly, seen here on a lantana
Jimmy Smith, CC BY-NC-ND - 4.0
Passiflora incarnata Passiflora incarnata bloom detail
Debbie Roos