Plant This Easy to Grow Flowering Vine to Attract & Feed Pollinators!
This vine is easy to grow, provides blooms and feeds pollinators too...it's Passiflora incarnata, is hardy in zones 6 - 9 and is the host plant for the Gulf fritillary butterfly.
Passiflora incarnata, commonly known as maypop, purple passion flower, wild apricot, and wild passion vine, is a vigorous grower and common wildflower in the southern United States and is a source of nectar and food for butterflies and bees.
Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. It's drought tolerant but the roots appreciate a loose mulch. The blooms last a day and if pollinated, produce egg-shaped fruits, called 'maypops'.
When my Passion Flower Vine volunteered and pushed its way up between cracks of the boards of the porch of my Potting Shed, I was anxiously awaiting the blooms it would bring this summer.
While I knew the blooms would attract pollinators, I had no idea that the foliage would be a food source for the Gulf fritillary butterfly.
The larvae of the Gulf fritillary feed exclusively on species of passionflower.
The caterpillars have rows of black spines that are soft to the touch and non-stinging, but protect them from predators along with their bright orange color~ a warning that they’re toxic if eaten.
They themselves have a voracious appetite and stripped my vine in about 10 days. . .
But it’s a small price to pay for these winged beauties!
The chrysalis resembles a dead leaf and a butterfly emerges in about two weeks, hanging upside down until the wings expand and are ready for flight!
I'm in gardening zone 7b in North Carolina. If you're unsure of your USDA hardiness zone you can do a search for your zone by zipcode: http://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/
More photos and details at the blog post!
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