This perennial flowering vine is native to Florida, and can be grown easily.
The gorgeous, three- to five-inch flowers come in shades of lavender or purple, with a wavy fringe over five petals. The middle of the bloom looks like a helipad, with a tiny yellow bean-like pollen sac suspended overhead. Each flower lasts about a day during the summer and early fall. The ovoid, green fruit is edible, if not very tasty.
Grow your passion flower (Passiflora incarnata) on a fence, trellis, or arbor in a sunny spot. It often spreads beyond its original planting spot, so be sure to give it room to roam.
Passion flower can tolerate very dry conditions. It's also the host plant for the Gulf Fritillary butterfly and thus a must-have for butterfly gardens.
There are at least five other native species of Passiflora in Florida: lutea, multiflora, pallens, sexflora, and suberosa, but the passion flower (P. incarnata) is by far the showiest.
- Gulf Fritillary Butterfly, Agraulis vanillae (Linnaeus)
- Passiflora incarnata Wild Passion Flower, Maypop