Passiflora incarnata, aka Maypop Vine, passionvine, or purple passion flower, are absolutely stunning native vines. They’re host plants to Gulf Fritillary, Zebra, Crimson patch longwing, red banded hairstreak, and Julie heliconian butterflies, and the flowers are stunningly beautiful. Oh, and did you know that wild turkeys like to eat the young curly tendrils of the vines?! How cool is all that!
They grow at least 25′, so give them room to spread. Sturdy arbors, fences, or walls are great supports for them. They cling and climb by curling their tendrils around the support. They like part sun to sun, and are drought tolerant once established. Blooming happens summer to fall.
“Purple Passion Flower (Passiflora incarnata) also known as Maypop, is a showy evergreen, flowering vine that is a larval host plant for the Gulf Fritillary and Zebra Longwing butterfly. The flower is a spectacular pink and purple and generally reaches a width of 3 to 5 inches. Each unique flower lasts about one day, appearing in the summer and early fall. The edible green fruits can be found on the vine along with the flowers.” ~UF IFAS Marion County Master Gardeners~
When planting a butterfly garden it’s important to have both host and nectar plants. A “host” is the plant caterpillars eat, and “nectar” is the plant butterflies get nectar from. Milkweed is one of the few plants that is both a host and nectar plant.
In the New Orleans area we have some butterflies who don’t migrate during the winter. That’s why we should plan our butterfly garden to have nectar plants growing and blooming year round. On my little balcony I have Sweet Almond Bush, Aloysia virgata,
and Sweet Alyssum, Lobularia maritima,
both of which bloom through the winter and provide nectar for butterflies and other beneficial insects. Plus their blooms are very fragrant, and that makes me very happy.
Tomorrow, Saturday the 17th, is the next “Shady Characters” seminar. It’s from 1:00 – 3:00, is free, just remember to bring a chair.
The last seminar for August is Thursday, the 22nd, 12:00 – 2:00.
Be sure to check out the Upcoming Eventspage to see what R&G has planned next.
Butterfly host plants are coming! Dill, fennel, cilantro, and coriander are being delivered today. Monday I’m picking up Asclepias tuberosa and incarnata, i.e., milkweed. Quantities are limited, so if you know you want some let me know and I’ll set them aside for you. Also, I buy all my host plants from suppliers that do not spray them.