Passion Vine - Passiflora incarnata

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Passion Vine, also known as 'Maypop', is a herbaceous perennial vine that climbs with tendrils. It blooms from June to September. Its fruit, known as passion fruit, is edible in most species, including incarnata. It can grow to be over 6 feet long/high and is native to the south eastern part of the U.S. Flowers are around three inches in diameter and are pretty interesting looking!

Passion Vine is a Host Plant for Fritillaries

A few species of fritillaries use Passion vine as a host plant. This includes the Variegated Fritillary and Gulf Fritillary.

Where to buy Passion Vine

Passiflora incarnata will most likely be found in native plant nurseries, but many places sell the tropical species of Passiflora. Depending on where you live, these tropical vines are not likely to survive the winter.

More Pipevine Pictures

Here is a picture of a Passiflora incarnata flower:

Growing Tips

Seeds from the fruit can be kept, but in my experience the seeds are not easy to germinate. The vine completely dies back in the winter in cooler areas (such as the St. Louis area). It tends to come back up kind of late in the spring, and can vary quite a bit. It also has a tendancy to not come up each year in the same spot - we get new little vines coming up all over the yard near where it was originally planted. Unwanted new vines that come up can be easily controlled by just mowing them.

Current status of this plant in my garden (last updated: 3/09)

I have one passion vine in my garden. Last year it didn't do so well in the original place where I planted it, probably due to it being close to my hops vine and one of my pipevines, which seem to be taking over that area. I have not seen any butterfly caterpillars on it yet. It seems the Variegated Fritillaries around here prefer wild violet. It seems to get too cold and/or the days are too short here for the fruits to fully ripen. I plan to keep growing for as long as it keeps coming back up in the spring.

The Passiforaceae Family

The Passiforaceae Family plants are climbing herbaceous or woody vines, or in some species, a shrub. They are mostly tropical and subtropical and can be found in Africa, Asia, Australia and in many parts of the Americas. There are at least 16 genera and over 500 species in this family. In addition to being a butterfly host plant they are also grown for their interesting flowers and the edible fruit of some species.


From the U. S. Department of Agriculture:


Kingdom: Plantae Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida Dicotyledons
Subclass: Dilleniidae
Order: Violales
Family: Passifloraceae Passion-flower family
Genus: Passiflora L. passionflower
Species: Passiflora incarnata L. purple passionflower

Additional Information

More information about Passiflora incarnata can be found at the USDA site.

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