Passiflora incarnata, Passion Flower, Maypop

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

Found naturally* along roadsides, pastures, and open woods, the exotic flowers and edible fruit of Purple Passionflower make this unique vine a striking ornamental plant for the garden. The common name, Maypop, refers to the fruit, which makes a loud popping sound when stomped on.

Print Version: Passiflora incarnata, Purple Passionflower, Maypop

Vine Height: 6–8 feet Spread: 3–6 feet Bloom color: Lavender, white (rarely) Characteristics Rapid-growing, tendril-climbing, deciduous vine Three-lobed, medium to dark green leaves Usually fragrant, 3-inch flowers crowned with wavy filaments and a showy center column of stamens and stigmas; bloom May to October Pulpy, edible, egg-shaped fruits (maypops), ripen to yellow-green for harvest mid-summer into fall Spreads rapidly by root suckers Attributes Tolerates clay soil and drought; no serious pests or diseases Moderate deer resistance Ethnobotanic uses; fruit eaten fresh or cooked Attracts butterflies and bees to its flowers; wild turkeys eat young tendrils; larval host for Gulf and Variegated Frittilary butterflies Growing and Maintenance Tips Soil requirements: Average, well-drained Light requirements: Sun Water requirements: Moist Remove suckers on regular basis to control spread Cover roots lightly with mulch Use on arbors, fences, posts, and walls or on slopes for erosion control *It is native in DC; adventive (non-native, escaped from cultivation) in DE’s Coastal Plain; and absent in PA. In VA, it is common in the Coastal Plain and outer southern Piedmont, infrequent elsewhere in the Piedmont, and rare in the mountains. It is native to NoVA, except for Fairfax County. Hardiness: USDA Zones 5–9 Excellent Replacement for Ampelopsis brevipedunculata - Porcelain Berry Celastrus orbiculatus - Chinese/Oriental Bittersweet Lonicera japonica - Japanese Honeysuckle
Learn more about other Mid-Atlantic plants: Tried and True Plant Fact Sheets