Passion Vine/Maypop

Scientific name: Passiflora incarnata
Abundance: common
What: flowers, ripe fruit, juice, leaves
How: raw, preserves, cold drink, tea
Where: sunny fields, yards, borders
When: late summer through fall until frost
Nutritional Value: Vitamin A & niacin

Medicinal Summary:
Leaves - sedative (tisane)
Flowers - anti-anxiety (tisane)

Leaf Arrangement: The leaves of Passiflora incarnata are arranged alternately along the stem.

Leaf Shape: Leaves are typically palmately lobed and palmately veined, with usually three to five lobes, each lobe being ovate to triangular, measuring approximately 3 to 6 inches in width.

Leaf Venation:
 Palmate venation, with prominent veins running from the base to the tip of each lobe.

Leaf Margin: The leaf margin is typically serrated or toothed.

Leaf Color: The leaves are usually medium green.

Flower Structure: Purple Passionflower produces intricate and showy flowers with a unique structure. They have five petal-like sepals, five petal-like corolla segments, and a central crown of filaments and anthers. The flowers can be up to 3 inches in diameter.

Flower Color: Flowers are typically violet-purple and have white or pinkish-purple filaments.

Fruit: The fruit is an ovoid to globose berry approximately 2" in diameter with a tough outer rind. Rind is green when young then turns yellow as it ripens.

Seed: Inside the fruit are numerous small seeds suspended in clear gel.

Stem: The stem is typically a climbing vine with tendrils for support.

Hairs: Fine hairs may be present on the stem.

Height: Passiflora incarnata can climb on other vegetation and reach varying heights.

Passion vine flower

Unripe passionvine fruit (maypop)

Inside of a passionvine fruit (maypop).
Maypop Passionvine

Three-lobbed passion vine leaves

Closeup of the passion vine leaf.

Texas distribution, attributed to U. S. Department of Agriculture. The marked counties are guidelines only. Plants may appear in other counties, especially if used in landscaping.

North American distribution, attributed to U. S. Department of Agriculture.

The maypop fruit is ripe when it turns from "Kermit the Frog" green to light green to yellow-orange in color. A better indication of a ripe maypop is a somewhat wrinkly skin whereas the unripe maypop fruit will have a firm, tight feel. Upon splitting the fruit you will see numerous seeds coated in a translucent goo while the inside of the skin will have a thick layer of white pulp. Suck the goo off the seeds like you were eating a pomegranate. The white pulp inside the skin is scrapped off with a spoon and eaten. Roasted seeds of these maypops are considered to be a wonderful snack in Puerto Rico.

Wild passion vines are uncommon in Texas so refrain from harvesting many the low-nutritional value fruit unless you find a vine really covered in fruit. These vines seem to produce a lot of fruit the year after a drought.

Tea made from the dried leaves and stem of the passionvine contain alkaloids with a sedative effect on humans. This tea can be purchased over the counter as a "sleepy time" the United States. Passionvines can quickly grow to cover a large area so harvesting young leaves and stems for use in tea will help keep the vine in check. As with any medicinal tea, I don't recommend drinking it more than 2-3 cups per week. They flowers can also be used for tea but they lack the sedative effect and you also lose the fruit from that flower.

Buy my book! Outdoor Adventure Guides Foraging covers 70 of North America's tastiest and easy to find wild edibles shown with the same big pictures as here on the Foraging Texas website.

Privacy & Amazon Paid Promotion Statement

I use third-party advertising companies to serve ads when you visit this website. These companies may use information (not including your name, address, email address, or telephone number) about your visits to this and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like more information about this practice and to know your choices about not having this information used by these companies, click here.

I participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. The prices you pay for the item isn't affected, my sales commission comes out of Amazon's pocket.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.