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The Maypop Passion Fruit (passiflora incarnata) is a native vine that inhabits sunny areas in all local soil types. It spreads underground and may appear where you had not planned for it to be. It emerges from underground in the spring and flowers with large ornate purple blossoms. The vines grow and produce better in some spots than in others. The difference may be soil quality or drainage.

P. incarnata is the host plant for the gulf fritillary butterfly. Their larvae may completely consume young, potted, or otherwise slow growing plants. Most wild vines grow quickly enough to compensate for the caterpillars.

The delicious fruits begin to mature in late July. Trellising will improve your ability to find the fruits, which fall off when ripe.

The passionflower is nature's most beautiful - here are some more really fabulous photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/yodaddy/815160262/ To eat, tear open the skin, suck out the innards and chew it all up. The taste is uniquely delicious and the seeds crunchy. You can cut them in half and scoop the pulp out into a fresh fruit salad.
passion1maypop22 maypop3

More photos on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/search?sort=relevance&text=maypop%20passion%20fruit

pdf - Maypop Passion Fruit Information Sheet (to print out)

50 comments to Maypop



  • luther

    I ate these maypop’s when I was a little boy growing up in the Carolina’s. Would love to get some seed to try and grow here in Texas.

  • Luther,
    I have many of them growing wild in my yard. Will be happy to share. Contact me through my website.

  • Steve

    They sure bring back memories of my childhood. We used to eat ’em, stomp ’em to hear them pop and loved to mash up the insides in water and add just a little sugar. Maypops are the essence of summer. A big wild vine full of maypops is one of ten years old most exciting summer discoveries.
    Minus a snake or an occasional wasp nest!

  • Maria

    They are a fast grower. I picked up a fruit and planted the whole in my yard…now they are taking over…they are nice plants.

  • Cat

    can anyone tell me how to make jelly of them,what do they look like ripe. Please email me if you can help. Cat

  • Cat

    Are these ok to use for herbal purpose? Like the purple passion flower????? Thank you Cat

  • ChayaMan

    In Brasil, we use these fruits to make juice – Maracuja. Mixed up light with sugar, it is a refreshing drink in hot weather. Mixed up thicker, it is a good remedy for insomnia; it puts one to sleep easily without making problems for awaking.

  • kim0307b

    eat the fruit of incarnata?

  • Nessa

    where can I get seeds for this flower?

  • Josie

    I live in the UK and I have one of these growing in my garden. It’s a complete mystery how it got there but the flowers are beautiful!

  • angel brown

    I want so so much to be able to eat-taste them again. I remeber them as a child looking for these wrinkle ,swiveled up yellowish, greenish things that us southern always knew as Maypops which now in my forties no one had no clue what I was saying cause for the first time I realized they where actually called passion fruit (boy did I really felt like a true Hillbilly!!! Where can I get I buy them in Tampa, FL area? I miss the memories! If I can’t buy them,, can Someone tell me how to grow them?? But if U have any I can buy,,please let me kno

  • Beverly Orio

    The leaves also make a very nice tea. And the tea is very good for insomnia, and safe even for babies. Many other medicinal benefits to the leaf.

  • Stephen

    Does anyone still have the seeds avalable?

  • Rachel

    I live in Northwest indiana. I had a maypop passion flower last year. I’m looking at replacing the one since it’s not regrowing this year. Any ideas of where to find would be very helpful. Tha ks in advance.

  • i’m so sorry we do not have maypop seeds for sale – they are available and i found some here! http://www.sandmountainherbs.com/passion_flower_american_maypop.html

  • Martin

    I moved to Georgia in late June. I noticed this vine by my barn and was concerned it might be toxic to my animals. I was very happy to find out it was a Maypop and am now enjoying the fruits. They vine is now appearing in numerous locations in the yard. I am going to try and save some seeds

  • Jennifer

    I am confused about a previous comment. Someone wrote it is fine to use “leaves” to make tea. Are the “leaves” the flower petals, or actual leaves from the plant?

  • the leaves are the actual leaves jennifer! not the flower petals

  • Mary

    When are the Maypops ripe to eat. My neighbors in Alabama all say that they ore poisonous? Or that they should be eaten a certain time of the year.

  • mark

    I had one of these randomly pop up last year beside my garage on the side that’s sunny in the morning but shaded in the evening. A little later in the season I noticed a small one had popped up near the corner where sun is in the evening. I never really knew what they where. I’ve lived in N.C. all my life and have never even heard of them. I noticed the flowers one day and fell in love. They’re so beautiful and unique looking. I pretty much left them laying on the ground and it done pretty well. But this year the one on the shady side never appeared but the one on the sunny side came right out from under the concrete near my garage door out of ole hard, red clay dirt. It kept getting bigger and bigger trying to go into my garage so I decided to bend it towards a trellis. It has since gotten taller than me and has taken over the trellis and heading back to the ground. It is full of huge beautiful flowers and fruit. I’m just now researching them, their benefits and how to eat them. My landlord told me that they where an aphrodisiac.. Any truth to this?

  • so say the herbalists mark – and researchers found that mounting behaviors in male mice increased significantly when passionflower extracts were administered: http://bit.ly/maypopinfo and http://bit.ly/maypopinfo2

  • when the fruits ripen will vary depending on which gardening zone you are in – check out this website for details and pics of ripe maypops
    green dean says they are categorically not poisonous – “websites have been proliferating the nonsense that Passiflora incarnata has cyanide in it. It categorically does not. The American Pharmaceutical Association Practical Guide to Natural Medicines by Andrea Peirce states: “Unlike other Passiflora species, … [the] Passionflower does not contain the poison cyanide, as some sources incorrectly suggest; they may have mistaken Passiflora incarnata for Passiflora caerulea, the ornamental blue passionflower that does contain this toxin.”

  • Kelsey

    As others have said, Maypop or hardy passionfruit is edible. There is another fruit with a similar name, Mayapple, which is poisonous until it is completely ripe, then it is edible (and the rest of the plant is all poisonous). Did you know the plant by sight or just by name?

  • the two fruits and both plants look completely different … and it’s good to know about may apples just in case! http://www.eattheweeds.com/podophyllum-peltatum-forgotten-fruit-2/ and http://wildwoodsurvival.com/survival/food/edibleplants/mayapple/index.html (great pics)

  • Ellen in Asheville

    I love these plants and let them go wherever they want in my yard. Recently I dug out two diseased climbing roses on either side of my garage door and transplanted Maypops in their place – the results were luscious foliage right up to frost, with fruit to eat as a bonus. Just before frost I dried the most perfect leaves and tendrils for a bedtime tea that works better than any other sleep-inducing OTC meds/herbs I know of – most gentle yet deep sleep, less post-drowsy after-effect. I leave the vines in place to make sure that all the fritillary caterpillars have completed their cycle – and I examine them carefully before composting to remove and relocate any pupae. We need every pollinator we can get, right?

  • lovely to hear ellen – this is edible, healing gardening at its best :-)

  • Tim Anderson

    Can the maypop roots be confined so that the plant doesn’t grow where you don’t want it? I want to limit it to an arch walk thru.

  • Sarah

    I am wondering the same as Tim. I’d like to grow these on a trellis on my porch but don’t want them to be too crazy. Also, will they damage a roof structure like wisteria?

  • mine die back each year and their vines are more malleable than wisteria’s – i’m sure you could grow them on a trellis or arch – not sure about confining the roots

  • Margaret Fisher

    Ellen, I live over in Brevard. Is there any way you could save me some seeds? I’ve been trying to get Maypop seeds forever ;..;

  • Margaret Fisher

    I don’t have any income, or I would buy them. That’s why I was hoping someone would have spare seeds they could give me (or exchange for some of my seeds).

  • Melissa

    I live just south of Charlotte NC and planted mine last year. Stayed green even thru winter. It has come back with tons of flowers and lots of extra vines. Do these only propagate via seeds or can you take vine cuttings and get them to root too? We have trellised it and it is over 12 feet tall at this point. It is true about the shade – I had another one in a different part of the garden that didn’t do very well. Has anyone tried it as a ground cover?

  • margaret! you should get in touch with Melissa to see if she has some spare seeds she can send you!

  • Angie

    Margaret, I actually have some of these seeds I had saved from last year’s fruit. How could I send them to you?

  • Melissa

    Margaret. Would be happy to send or share. This is the first year blooming so hopefully will get pods. Mlonggray at yahoo dot com.contact me.

  • Denia

    Hey if anyone is still in search for may pops the seeds plants i have them all around my home.

  • Brandon

    Hi Margaret. I don’t have any seeds and won’t till fall from what I understand, but have some volunteer maypop that seems to be doing well; a little too well, with root suckers expanding into my veggie garden! I’m in N Georgia, but was born and raised in Brevard and visit family there a few times a year. I could try potting a root sucker for transport on my next visit. Alternatively, if they continue to do well I should have spare seeds in a few months.

  • Margaret Fisher

    If you could e-mail me I could give you my mailing address. I’d be very grateful ^_^ My e-mail is margi.fisher@aol.com

  • BB

    I found a bunch of them in my horse pasture. They are the most beautiful and intricate looking flower I’ve ever seen. I love them so much that I want to get a trellis and plant them as a climbing vine. So, does anyone know how to propagate these plants. Do you dig up the root and replant? Do you plant the fruit? If so, do you plant it before or after the fruit ripens?

  • cyndiann

    If you open up the fruit it’s full of seeds. I think you can plant cuttings too.

  • Deb Beard

    I am new to these in my garden and I finally have fruit growing. Is the entire fruit edible, or just certain parts?

  • Hi Deb … The juicy inside of the fruit is edible – you wouldn’t want to eat the tough outer skin. Just cut the fruit in two and scoop out the fruit and seeds – the seeds are crunchy!

  • debra castro

    I have plenty anyone in the Salisbury, NC area that would like some please just let me know lol

  • Joyce Bone

    Hi! If anyone has seeds I had a custom trellis made for my front yard and am trying to find a beautiful vine to plant. Maypop sounds wonderful. My 12 year old son will get a kick out of it.
    joycebone at gmail.com for the address. I would be forever grateful. Maybe someone knows of some in the north georgia area? I’m east of Roswell. Also, if you are in GA I just heard about Kinsey Family Farms in Gainesville. They carry native plants. I’m going to check it out this fall!

  • Jeffery Edgar

    I have a lot on my land in ga if any one want some

  • Jeffery Edgar

    They are the purple flower maypops

  • Sabrina

    This is my first year of harvesting this beautiful plant. We have a huge pasture area filled with a variety of wild herbs and flowers. It is FULL of maypop flowers and fruit is loaded on the vines. I really need to know if it is safe to start harvesting the flowers and leaves now while the fruit is still growing. I don’t want to harm or shock the plant while the fruit is ripening. I am wanting to harvest all from the plant other than the vine and root. I just don’t want to harvest to early and miss the fruit, or harvest to late and miss the leaves and flowers. Any suggestions for a newbie like me?

  • Susan

    For Melissa and BB, there is a great youtube video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0yfRiCasS0) about propagation via layering to produce a separate clone plant. I usually have better luck doing layering rather than cuttings, but you need to do it early in the growing season if you live in a zone where the vine dies back in the winter in order for the clone’s root system to develop sufficiently. Of course, you can always dig up the roots of the current vine if you want to move it from its current spot.

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