Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Maypops - Passiflora incarnata   L.
Members of Passiflora with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Violales » Family Passifloraceae
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DistributionStatewide, apparently scarce in the northern Mountains and in a few far eastern counties.

This is a Southern species, ranging from DE and eastern KS south to southern FL and central TX.
AbundanceCommon over most of the state, but uncommon in the northern Mountains and far eastern counties, such as along the Outer Banks.
HabitatThis is a species of open or disturbed habitats, being easily found along fencerows, margins of thickets, woodland borders, and old fields.
PhenologyBlooms mainly from May to July, and sporadically later; fruits from July to October.
IdentificationThis is a very familiar and popular native wildflower, known to nearly everyone. It is an herbaceous, climbing or trailing vine that often reaches 20-25 feet long. The alternate leaves are very distinctive, having 3 leaflets and entire margins; each leaflet is about 2 inches long and 3/4-inch wide. The huge and complicated-looking flowers are axillary, opposite a leaf; each has a spread of almost 3 inches across, with white to lavender petals. The corona has numerous thread-like filaments, looking like white and purple strings coming off the center of the flower; see photos for a better understanding of the flower structure. The fleshy green fruit is about 2 inches long, ovoid in shape, and edible to humans. This species is a valuable host plant for several showy butterflies, such as Gulf and Variegated fritillaries, and Zebra Longwings farther south.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)Purple Passionflower, Passion-vine
State RankS5
Global RankG5
State Status
US Status
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B.A. SorrieSandhills Game Land, disturbed, cleared area. 30 May 2015. ScotlandPhoto_natural
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