Passiflora incarnata Hardy Passionflower, Maypops

Passiflora incarnata is a wonderful flowering vine that is native to Texas. This vine is related to other Passion Flowers and sports the same showy flowers, only this vine is native so it is more cold hardy, all the way to zone 6! The vine is deciduous, but the roots will live and the vine will come back in the Spring around May, hence the common name Maypops. Because this Passion Flower starts new each year you will never have to worry about it getting too big. During the growing season it is vigorous and can reach 6 feet in height with a 2-3′ spread. The blooms of Passiflora incarnata are very complex, bowl shaped and pale purple to almost white in color. The purple and white fringe filaments on top are the corona, this makes the flower very showy. Passion Flower blooms in the summer, the blooms are scented so they will attract butterflies and hummingbirds. In fact this plant is a natural habitat for the Gulf Fritillary Butterfly, which will eat the foliage. The fruit is a yellow ovoid shape, it is edible if you can get to it before the wildlife does. In the late summer months when the fruit is ripe for eating just apply pressure to open these tangy gems. This will cause the fruit to “pop” and could be another reason for the common name Maypops. This plant got its other common name because many see each part of the flower representing an aspect of the Passion at Easter.

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