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Passionflower Passiflora incarnata

Phonetic Spelling
pass-iff-FLOR-uh in-kar-NAH-tuh
Description

Passion flower is a rapid-growing, trailing vine that climbs by axillary tendrils. It is woody in warm winter climates but dies to the ground in cold winter climates. It is native to the southeastern U.S.A. and in average, medium, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. In its natural habitat, it is found in sandy soils along stream banks, roadsides, woodland edges, meadows, and pastures. 

Maypop is a common name for this vine, relating to the loud popping sound made when the fruits are stepped on. The genus name Passiiflora is Latin for passio which means passion and flos which means flower.  Incarnata is Latin for flesh-colored.  

Although this vine is tolerant of drought, a loose mulch can help to keep the roots cool. Under optimum growing conditions it spreads by root suckers to cover large areas. This is the hardiest of the passion flower vines and it does not have to climb in order to produce flowers like other passion flowers. If a bushy growth habit is preferred, pinch the vines back after the first growing season.

This plant is moderately resistant to damage from deer.  The showy flowers and edible fruit make it an excellent choice for an edible or children's garde, an arbor, pergola, trellis, fence, or wall near a patio where its showy flowers can be enjoyed. 

 

Fire Risk: This plant has an extreme flammability rating and should not be planted within the defensible space of your home.  Select plants with a low flammability rating for the sites nearest your home.  

Seasons of Interest: 

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

Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems:  No serious insect or disease problems.  The roots can spread aggressively and in poorly-drained wet soils root rot can occur, especially in the winter.

 

See this plant in the following landscapes:
Pollinator Garden- Partial Shade
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
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Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#hummingbirds#white#showy flowers#deciduous#full sun tolerant#heat tolerant#blue#drought tolerant#lavender#perennial#wildlife plant#nectar plant#playground#showy fruits#food source#fire#extreme flammability#NC native#fences#trellises#vines#summer flowers#deer resistant#children's garden#large flowers#long bloom time#edible fruits#deciduous vine#spring interest#native vine#pollinator plant#wildflower garden#larval host plant#food source summer#food source fall#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#bird friendly#nectar plant late spring#butterfly friendly#nectar plant early summer#nectar plant mid-summer#arbor#pollinator garden#bee friendly#audubon#gulf fritillary#julia butterfly#zebra longwing#crimson-patch longwing#mexican butterfly#red-banded hairstreak butterfly#gulf fritillary butterfly#variegated fritillary butterfly
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Passiflora
    Species:
    incarnata
    Family:
    Passifloraceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    It was used medicinally by Native Americans. They would poultice the root to be used for boils, cuts, bruises, earaches, and inflammation. It was also cooked in teas that were used to sooth nerves. The Inca's would brew this plant in tonic.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Root Cutting
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Central & E. U.S.A., Bermuda
    Distribution:
    AL , AR , DC , DE , FL , GA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MD , MO , MS , NC , OH , OK , PA , SC , TN , TX , VA , WV
    Fire Risk Rating:
    extreme flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    This plant supports provides nectar for pollinators and is a larval host plant for several butterflies. The Gulf Fritillary (Agraulis vanillae) appear from January-November in the north and throughout the year in southern Florida and Texas. Variegated Fritillary (Euptoieta claudia) has four broods from February-December in the souther and three broods from April-October in the north. Zebra Heliconian (Heliconius charithonia) appears all year in Florida and Texas and appears in other northern states during warm months. Hummingbirds and butterflies nectar from the flowers in the summer. Its fruit may be eaten by songbirds, small mammals and some larger mammals.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Attracts Pollinators
    Wildlife Food Source
    Climbing Method:
    Tendrils
    Edibility:
    Ripened maypops can be eaten fresh off the vine or made into jelly. Showy flowers are edible with a vegetal flavor, best used as a garnish.  The leaves can be used for tea.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Edible
    Ground Cover
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Vine
    Wildflower
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
    Appendage:
    Tendrils
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    12-24 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5a, 5b, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Orange
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    Fleshy, leathery egg-shaped, fruits called maypops appear from July to October and mature to a yellowish color with brown seeds in fall. They "pop" when crushed.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Blue
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Fragrant
    Long Bloom Season
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Crown
    Flower Petals:
    7 - 20 petals/rays
    Colored Sepals
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    White with purple crown fringed flowers having 10 white petals and sepals and a central crown of pinkish-purple filaments. The flowers bloom in summer and are fragrant. Flowers bloom from May to July.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Palmasect
    Leaf Margin:
    Lobed
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Width:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are three-lobed and dark green above light below toothed with a pair of prominent glands on the leaf stalk. It has a yellow fall color.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Green
    Surface/Attachment:
    Smooth
    Bark Description:
    Its bark is green and smooth and coarsely grained.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Patio
    Recreational Play Area
    Vertical Spaces
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Children's Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Edible Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Screen/Privacy
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Pollinators
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Heat