Purple passionflower, also known as maypop, is a relatively quick-growing, perennial, herbaceous vine in the Passifloraceae family. You can find this vine growing throughout the Southeast from Texas to Kansas up to Pennsylvania and down to Florida. In Mississippi, I’ve often seen it in pastures or open fields.
It’s a great addition to an arbor or trellis and provides necessary food for the larvae of several butterfly species. The flower is very unique and attractive and blooms from April through September. Leaves are tri-lobed and the plant produces lots of tendrils to cling to structures as it climbs and grows.
How to Grow Purple Passionflower
Plant these vines in full sun and provide them with something to climb on (though they will readily spread across the ground creating a carpet). They don’t require much water and are heat and cold tolerant. This is an easy vine to grow and requires little maintenance. The vine will die back in winter and new shoots will form in the spring. Purple passionflower can be grown in zones 6 to 9
How to Propagate Passionflower Vine
You can propagate this plant by cuttings or by seeds. Cuttings of 6-8 inches should be made in early spring and planted directly into the soil or planting medium, being sure to remove the leaves off of the bottom 4-5 inches. Keep the soil relatively moist until roots develop. Seeds should be removed from the fruit when the fruit starts to shrivel up. If the vine develops suckers, you can detach these with their roots and plant them as well.
Wildlife Uses for Purple Passionflower
Passionflower is an important food source for the larvae of several butterfly species including the Gulf fritillary, zebra longwing, red-banded hairstreak, and Julia butterfly. These larvae may strip a vine bare. The flowers attract butterflies and bees that feed on its nectar. Some birds will eat the fruit and turkey will eat the tendrils of the plant. This plant is moderately resistant to deer.
Check out the USDA plant profile for Passiflora incarnata