This post is about Harvesting Maypop Passiflora Incarnata. Here we show you when and how to harvest these fruits that are native to the eastern United States.
Maypop Passiflora incarnata is an attractive vine that flowers in the early summer and then produces two-inch-long fruit that is shaped like a chicken egg and is ready to pick in the fall. It is a hardy perennial that survives down to -20F and is hardy in USDA zones 5-9 and is native to the Eastern United States. The vines freeze down to the ground each winter. Maypop gets its name by popping out of the ground in May.
A Little Behind
My maypop plants are a little behind and will not all get fully ripe because it is so late in the year. The reason my maypop is behind is because I was steadily cutting them back to the ground through the end of June. The maypop is growing in a blueberry and blackberry patch and I wanted to let those fruit full ripen in full sun before I let the maypops takeover. After July forth, I let them go.
The maypop has beautiful flowers. They are extremely fragrant and bumble bees just love them. You’ll sometimes see three bumblebees on one flower.
The one issue I do have with maypop is they can be a little aggressive with their suckering. I planted one plant three years ago near my garden area. The first year it did just fine. The second year it suckered a good bit. I just pulled the suckers out of the ground and tossed them into my compost bin. Well they rooted in my compost bin which is next to my blackberry patch. Now they are coming up all over the place in my blackberry patch.
The fruit has a tropical fruit flavor and makes a wonderful juice. The fruit is similar to pomegranate in that it is a flesh wrapped around a seed. Make sure you don’t pick them too soon though. They are sour, kind of like a lemon if you pick them before they are fully ripe.
The ripe fruit is a little yellow on the bottom and starting to shrivel up. If you open the seed pod, the fruit around the seeds are a yellow color when ripe. If they are white in color, they are going to be sour.
In order to harvest the fruit, simply pull them off of the vine. Don’t worry about harming the vine because the vine is going to die back to the ground, as it does every fall.
Crack it Open
To get at the fruit around the seeds, just pull the seed pod open. It is a soft pod around the seeds and is easy to just pull apart with your fingers. Then just pull the fruit out and enjoy.
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