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September 2008
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Purple Passionflower (aka passiflora incarnata)

Passiflora incarnata is different from the other varieties of the Passiflora variety (which are mostly tropical evergreen). Passiflora incarnata is deciduous, capable of surviving winter freezes (very common to large chunks of the United States) and is commonly called passion flower / maypop. Passion flower is commonly found in the southeastern United States and is quite often seen growing alongside ditches by the side of the road, and in sunny and moist places that are fertile.
Passion flower grows to a height of 8-11 feet, and like many other vines, extends tendrils to leverage any support nearby, other plants, fixed structures, to reach the desired height. The plant has large serrated leaves that have two characteristic glands at the base of the blade on the petiole; also, passiflora incarnata has complex flowers that are very beautiful. These flowers have a diameter of 2-3 inches, and have a pattern of white and purple.
The plant looks beautiful, but the vine nature of the plant makes it invasive (it can easily spread in all directions very fast), so sufficient control needs to be emphasized if growing this plant.
The plant has a fleshy fruit called the Maypop; an oval yellowish berry about the size of a hen egg; it is green at first, but then becomes orange as it matures. In this species, the yellow mucilage around the seeds of the fruit is sweet and edible, however it is quite seedy and mostly benefits wildlife.

Growing conditions:
Light: Passion flower Needs part to full sun.
Zones: USDA Zones 6-9. In the winter, the plant dies down to the ground, and like many others, recovers in spring.
Moisture needs: The plant needs a small amount of moisture, and evenly moist soil is the best type for it
Mulching required: Mulching helps
Propagation: Seeds, cuttings

Photo (from Wikipedia)

Purple passionflower

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