|Monday Melange: Purple Passionflower|
|Written by Heleigh Bostwick Monday, 08 October 2012|
The purple passion-flower (Passiflora incarnata) is a perennial vine native to the southeastern US, its range extending south from Pennsylvania to Florida and across to Texas. A member of the passion-flower family (Passifloraceae) family, it is hardy in USDA zones 5 to 9.
The purple passion-flower, which also goes by the common name of maypop because of the way the fruits "pop" when squashed, is a fast growing vine with beautiful showy purple flowers that bloom from June to September. The fringed flowers, which are 2.5 inches in diameter, resemble crowns, having a purple fringed center surrounded by white petals.
In the wild purple passion-flower grows in thickets and open woods where the soils are sandy. It is also cultivated for its fruits, which begin to appear in July. Male and female plants are not necessary to produce fruits. Passion-flower is a tendril climbing vine and grows to a height of 6 to 8 feet. It is easily grown from seed on trellises, arbors, and fences. The purple passion-flower prefers full to partial sun and moist soil, although it is drought tolerant. The fragrant flowers are excellent for attracting butterflies to the garden. Under ideal growing conditions, the roots of the purple passion-flower may become invasive however so keep an eye on it.
The purple passion-flower is listed as threatened in Ohio and rare in Indiana.