Passion Flowers in the Wild and in the Garden

I live in an area where the wild Maypops grow.

Not far down the path I found the Maypop’s smaller cousin.  A beautiful little gem called Yellow Passion-flower, Passiflora lutea.

The green to yellowish flowers are about an inch across. I may have passed by this elusive jewel many times and I’m glad to have finally spotted it.

I bought this Passion Flower at a nursery a couple of years ago, mainly to provide a plant to host Gulf Fritillary Butterflies.  As it turned out, the butterflies did not like this cultivar.  The flowers are beautiful and I like it.

This year I purchased another Passion Flower that the nurseryman guaranteed that the Gulf Fritillary would lay eggs on and the caterpillars would eat.  We will see.


22 Comments on “Passion Flowers in the Wild and in the Garden”

  1. shoreacres says:

    I’ve seen exactly one of the yellow passion-flowers. It was on a road leading to the Sundew Trail in the Big Thicket. I’d stopped to photograph some pale coneflowers; otherwise, I never would have noticed it.

    I’ve been interested to read articles about how many cultivars don’t appeal as host plants or serve as sources of nectar. It seems that breeding in some desirable characteristics (such as size or color) sometimes means breeding out others.

    • The one that the butterflies don’t like, has much thicker leaves. I haven’t looked it up, but I think it may be more of a tropical kind. The last time I checked the yellow passion-flower, it had caterpillars on it. The fruits reminded me of tear-shaped blueberries. I’ll bet the birds like them.
      Did you get storm surge or much rain from the hurricane? We had very little rain up here.

  2. carol says:

    That wild one is really a beauty. Be careful with the one you plant, though. Mine became invasive and took two years to get rid of it (I’m in Florida). I have one confined to a pot now and the frits find it every year.

  3. Deb says:

    They grow here as well, I just love their lacy blooms. The fruit is good to squeeze and mix with orange juice.

  4. Eliza Waters says:

    They are all beautiful– the little lutea is very charming!

  5. Tina says:

    Oooh, some of my favorites. I just love that P. lutea–so cute!! These are great shots!

  6. Chloris says:

    How lovely, we can’t grow such a range of passion flowers here. I love the frilly one.

  7. The one passionflower I have been nursing along, bit the dust this year. Bugs and butterflies are way down this year. Kind of scary actually, no caterpillars on my fennel and no one enjoying the lantana.

    • Over the years, I have gone from a yard full of butterflies to almost none. This year has been better. I tend to think they just end up in different locations on different years. Monarch Watch thinks the numbers are better this year.

  8. I wrote an article recently about butterflies and interviewed an entomologist – she said it was very normal for butterflies and insects to have boom/bust years, however statistics are scarily down for pollinators. I have Corkystem Passionflower and an unnamed (Purple Possum) I think that the Gulf Frits love…not sure about the lutea, will have to look into that one. I love the flowers as well and your pictures,

  9. Such interesting and pretty flowers.

    • They do like it in the South. Being a Northerner, I was “blown away” the first time I saw them. If I moved back up north, I would have to have a green house.

      • I would love to have a greenhouse. But there is so much work to be done on the inside of the house, that a greenhouse may be a dream too far.

      • If I ever move, it will be a smaller house and yard. I am used to gardening year-round and I could keep it up in the winter with a greenhouse. We will see what the future brings.

      • I like that idea. I always said I’d be happy with a house with only a library, a greenhouse and a kitchen, (I could sleep in any of those rooms, yes) and outside, a small garden. My family would not agree, I’m sure.


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