Purple Passion Flower is an attractive, fast -growing perennial vine reported to occur in most counties of NC and in most Southeastern states. Climbing by means of axillary tendrils, it grows to 12 feet (some say up to 25 feet, but we have not seen that) and is naturally found in sunny, recently disturbed areas. It has a fascinating, complex flower structure which roughly looks like a purple ring with a yellow cross in the center. The fruits of the Purple Passion Flower, called Maypops, are egg-shaped and green, turning yellow when ripe. The fruit is edible, either fresh or cooked up into a jelly or jam. This plant also has medicinal properties and has been used in the treatment of anxiety and insomnia. Purple Passion Flower is a larval host for a number of butterflies. It has always been recognized as special, and the Ocoee River is named for the Cherokee word for this plant. Since it spreads aggressively by rhizomes, it should only be grown in naturalized areas. With it’s vibrant, quirky and colorful flowerhead, the Passion Flower is a beautiful and interesting vine to add to a wild garden.