Scientific Name: Passiflora incarnata

Common Name: purple passionflower

Habit: The maypop passionflower is a vine that can reach over 6.5 feet in length and may be longer and grows from 8 to 12 feet high. It spreads most commonly by perennial rootstocks. It also produces seedlings which may sprout. Growth occurs mainly in spring and summer, and is especially good in moist, sunny areas. Seedlings are hardy and may survive cold winter temperatures.

Leaves: Leaves of the maypop passionflower are arranged alternately. They usually have 3 lobes that arrise from petioles, though they may have 5 on occasion. Leaves may also be slightly hairy, and the lobes rise from a common stem. The leaves are usually from 2.5 to 5.5 inches long.

Identifying Characteristics: The special characteristics to the maypop passionflower are the tri-lobed leaves and purple color of the flowers.

Flower Seed Head: The flowers of the maypop are very complex and have a diameter of two to three inches. They have ten white sepals in a small, bowl-shape and are surrounded with purple and white filaments. The center has 5 stamens which surround a white fleshy stigma.

Seed Fruit: The fruit of a maypop passionflower are relatively large at one and a half to three inches long. They are green or yellow-green in color and contain dimpled brown seedlings.

Where Found: The maypop passionflower is found commonly in the southeast United States. It usually grows as far west as Texas and as far north as Pennsylvania. It prefers moist, partly sunny areas such as ditches and road sides.

  • Life cycle: perennial

  • Plant type: Vine

  • Plant family: Passifloraceae