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Wasowski, Sally and Andy
Passiflora incarnata L.
Purple passionflower, Purple passion vine, Maypop, Apricot vine
USDA Symbol: PAIN6
USDA Native Status: L48 (N)
Purple passion-flower is an herbaceous vine, up to 25 ft. long, that climbs with axillary tendrils or sprawls along the ground. Intricate, 3 in., lavender flower are short-stalked from leaf axils. The petals and sepals subtend a fringe of wavy or crimped, hair-like segments. The pistil and stamens are also showy. Three-lobed, deciduous leaves are dark-green above and whitish below. The fruit is a large, orange-yellow berry with edible pulp. Like some other passion vines, Maypop spreads by root suckers.
This unusual flower is widely distributed in the Southeast, especially from Florida to Texas. The plants were given the name Passionflower or Passion vine because the floral parts were once said to represent aspects of the Christian crucifixion story, sometimes referred to as the Passion. The 10 petal-like parts represent Jesuss disciples, excluding Peter and Judas; the 5 stamens the wounds Jesus received; the knob-like stigmas the nails; the fringe the crown of thorns. The name Maypop comes from the hollow, yellow fruits that pop loudly when crushed. Yellow Passion Flower (P. lutea), a small yellow-flowered species, occurs from southeast Pennsylvania to Florida, west to Texas and Oklahoma, and north to Missouri, Illinois, and West Virginia.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Vine Size Notes:
Yellow Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Pink , Blue , Purple
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep
, WV Native Distribution: DE
s. to e. TX
also in Bermuda, introduced farther n. in U.S. Zones 7 to 10. Native Habitat:
Roadsides, Prairies, Plains, Meadows, Pastures, Savannahs, Woodland edges and opening, Streams, Riverbanks
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low , Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry , Moist
Cold Tolerant: yes
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Rich, non-saline clays, loams, sands.
BenefitUse Ornamental: Showy, Blooms ornamental, Ground cover, Arbor, Twines on fences & other plants, Climbs walls & columns
Use Wildlife: Fruit-birds.
Use Food: Fruits consumed by indigenous people.
Use Medicinal: Amerindians poulticed root for boils, cuts, earaches and inflammation. (Foster & Duke)
Tea used to sooth nerves; Inca brewed tonic; crushed leaves in poultices on cuts and bruises. (1 teaspoon dried leaves per cup of boiling water, steep 10 or 15 min) for insomnia, 1 cup at bedtime, as tonic up to 3 cups/day. (Castleman)
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Larval Host: Gulf Fritillary, Zebra Longwing, Crimson-patch longwing, Red-banded hairstreak, Julia butterfly, Mexican butterfly.
Nectar Source: yes
Deer Resistant: Moderate
Propagate by seed or cuttings. When sown immediately or stored, seed germination is low. Direct sowing outdoors is recommended. 6-8 in. stem
cuttings should be taken early in the season. Once passion flower
is established, numerous suckers will appear Seed Collection:
Leathery berries develop during a 2-3 month period after flowering. Check seeds when the berry
is soft and yellowish. Mature seeds are brown. Seeds should be cleaned soon (remove the sticky aril
fomr seeds) and stored in moist sphagnum sealed, refrigerated containers. Commercially Avail:
To encourage bushiness, pinch the plants back during their first growing season.
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)
is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
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Mr. Smarty Plants says
Perennial vine for full sun, Denton, TX
March 19, 2010
I would like to grow a perennial vine that would tolerate full sun during the day. A flowering or non-flowering is fine. I do NOT want anything that is poisonous, i.e. Carolina jasmine, since this w...
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Edible Plants for North Georgia
January 10, 2010
We are planning a forest food garden in the hollers of the N GA Mountains.
Which edible fruit, nut, berry, herb and creepers would be best for this reddish, clay-like soil? The food garden is in...
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* Available Online from Wildflower Center Store
Bibref 417 - Field Guide to Medicinal Plants and Herbs of Eastern and Central North America
(2000) Foster, S. & J. A. Duke
Bibref 1186 - Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America
(2005) Covell, C.V., Jr.
Bibref 1185 - Field Guide to Western Butterflies (Peterson Field Guides)
(1999) Opler, P.A. and A.B. Wright
Bibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition)
(2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski
Bibref 355 - Landscaping with Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest
(1991) Miller, G. O.
Bibref 765 - McMillen's Texas Gardening: Wildflowers
(1998) Howard, D.
Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants
(2006) Burrell, C. C.
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region
(2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Bibref 281 - Shinners & Mahler's Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas
(1999) Diggs, G. M.; B. L. Lipscomb; B. O'Kennon; W. F...
Bibref 248 - Texas Wildflowers: A Field Guide
(1984) Loughmiller, C. & L. Loughmiller
Bibref 291 - Texas Wildscapes: Gardening for Wildlife
(1999) Damude, N. & K.C. Bender* The Midwestern Native Garden: Native Alternatives to Nonnative Flowers and Plants An Illustrated Guide (2011) Adelman, Charlotte and Schwartz, Bernard L.
Bibref 1208 - The New Healing Herbs
(1995) Michael Castleman
Bibref 1243 - The Southeastern Indians
(1976) Hudson, Charles
Bibref 328 - Wildflowers of Texas
(2003) Ajilvsgi, Geyata.
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Record Last Modified: 2013-09-08
Research By: DIEHL, WFS