The passion vine, also known as the passion flower or maypop, is a climbing vine that is native to the United States. Passion vine grows wild in the United States, but is also frequently cultivated as a garden and landscape plant. The plant is prized for its many spectacular, complex and beautiful flowers, which appear in abundance during summer months.
The plant is a perennial climbing vine, extending tendrils to grab onto support structures to grow. It is a fast growing plant and very aggressive, and can cover a very large area in a very short period of time. Each plant flowers abundantly throughout late spring, summer and early fall. Passion flower is usually evergreen, although it may lose leaves in cooler regions.
The leaves of the plant are dark green, shiny and alternate along the stems of the vine. The shape of the leaves is rounded with three lobes and smooth margins. Passion vine also abundantly produces ovoid fruits that are green in color and approximately two to three inches long. The fruits are attractive and edible, though not very tasty.
The flower of the passion vine are complex and spectacular in appearance. They range from pink to purple in color and are generally three to five inches in width. The flower consists of several long, oval petals around the base of a flower. Next, above these petals is a ring of thin, thready filaments that extend out from the center of the flower, called the corona. A short stems with a cluster of stigmas projects from the center of the flower. Each flower opens quickly, usually taking less than 10 minutes, and lasts for only one day.
Passion Vines grow well in USDA hardiness zones 7B through 11. The plant appreciates full sun. It can tolerate a wide range of soil conditions from clay to loam or very sandy soils. It is highly drought tolerant and can also withstand occasional wet conditions. Because the plant tends to roam, plant spacing in gardens or other landscaped applications should be between three and five feet to allow for proper growth. Passion Vines can be propagated from seeds or cuttings.
Passion vine is frequently grown in garden settings for its attractive foliage and prodigious and beautiful flowers. The plan can be grown as an accent along trellises, arbors, fences or cascading over walls. The flowers of the plant are excellent for attracting butterflies and hummingbirds. The fruit, while having little flavor eaten fresh, is sometimes used for its juice, which can be used as a flavoring in other beverages. Extracts and teas of passion vine and flowers are also used as herbal remedies, particularly for treating insomnia and anxiety.