Maypop provides

One of my favorite plants right now in my garden is "Maypop", Passiflora incarnata. A vigorous perennial vine, I planted it a couple of years ago at one of the supports for the pergola over the patio. My thought at the time was that this would be a nice replacement for the annual vines I had been planting here every year -- my expectations were relatively low.


This surprised me last year by producing so many amazing flowers, and doing a pretty decent job at covering at least part of the pergola. Then it produced some fruit, and I knew this was going to be a winner. This year? Take everything I loved about it last year and double it!

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This vine produced flowers all summer long -- during the heat and drought it just kept producing. I did water it a few times when it looked exceptionally droopy, but for the most part I just stood back. It's still producing flowers now:


But the real story of this plant right now is fruit:


These fruits are deceptive, as they look heavier than they really are -- a good part of each one is hollow,  with the edible part being the pulp surrounding each seed.

Still, there are quite a few of these ripening right now:


Yes, quite a few.



I only know these are ripe once they fall from the vines, as I'm no good at telling when they're ready before then.

Did I mention there are lots of fruits?


One of the main tasks of any vine I plant here is to cover the pergola and provide shade to the patio.


I think it succeeds in this area, don't you?

This is supposed to be a host plant for Gulf Fritillary butterfly larva, but I haven't seen any evidence of them. Something is eating the leaves though:



That doesn't look like caterpillar damage to me, and I saw no evidence of caterpillars. Perhaps I'll attract some next year? (Maybe it is caterpillar damage -- does anybody know?)

I ended up letting the vines climb up into the contorted pine, and I like the look of the hanging fruits -- like ornaments!


So this is one of my favorite plants of 2012. I like it so much, I have a second maypop I'm hoping to plant in the next week or so.


Now to wait for some more fruits to fall...

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danger garden  – (September 13, 2012 at 10:30 AM)  

wow...that is beautiful, the way it covers the pergola and with the fruit hanging down, so picturesque. I wish I had more places for a vine to grow...

Christine @ The Gardening Blog  – (September 13, 2012 at 5:01 PM)  

That really is quite beautiful. The fruits look like cute lime light bulbs hanging down and i love the flowers! I'd agree its one of your loveliest and such a beauty providing shade where you need it ... what's not to love?

sandy lawrence –   – (September 13, 2012 at 6:44 PM)  

Alan, I have a white one of these planted this year. I also have a white and blue one that I planted last year and a TX native one that has tiny green flowers. My vision was that they all grow together and intertwine while providing shade. I got to enjoy only 3 blooms this spring because of the abundance of Fritillary butterfly cats. They decimated all 3 vines, blooms and all - not just holes like your leaf damage. As the bare vines started to recover in late summer, darned if there wasn't another wave of cats! The butterflies had a hard time of it last year, so that's okay. That's part of the reason I planted them anyway. Yours looks fabulous on your pergola.

Rob - @formerfatguy  – (September 15, 2012 at 5:24 PM)  

Amazing photography as well. Been researching this and after seeing all your photos and description, I'll be putting it in the ground

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