Maypop Plant Information | A Unique Edible Vine

This post provides Maypop Plant Information | A Unique Edible Vine and provides how to care for the plant, gives a recipe, and describes the fruit of this cold hardy medicinal.

Maypop Plant Information

Maypop Plant Information | A Unique Edible Vine Maypop1

Maypop Plant Information | A Unique Edible Vine

The plant 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.  The flowers are very sweet smelling and attracts a lot of beneficial insects.  The flowers are white and lilac in color and are quite showy.  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.

Maypop Plant Information | A Unique Edible Vine maypop2

Maypop Plant Information | A Unique Edible Vine Maypop Flower

Fruit – Maypop Plant Information

While the vine will have dozens of flowers, only a few will actually fruit.  I have found several sources that say you get better fruit production by hand pollinating.  This year I totally ignored mine and mowed them down with the lawn mower a few times and they still produced fruit.

The maypop fruit is ripe when it turns from “Kermit the Frog” green to light green to yellow-orange in color. A better indication of a ripe maypop is a somewhat wrinkly skin whereas the unripe maypop fruit will have a firm, tight feel and taste quite sour.

More on Fruit

Maypop Plant Information | A Unique Edible Vine Maypop3

Maypop Plant Information | A Unique Edible Vine Maypop Fruit

Upon splitting the fruit, you will see numerous seeds coated in a clear goo while the inside of the skin will have a thick layer of white pulp. Only the clear goo is edible, suck it off the seeds like you were eating a pomegranate.  You can eat the fruit raw, make preserves, cold drinks, and tea.  I took one of these fruits over to my mother’s house last week and we tried the fruit.  It had a sweet tropical fruit flavor like I hadn’t had before.  I don’t know that I’ve had passion fruit before, so I can’t make a comparison.  It was mighty tasty, but it was difficult getting the pulp off of the seeds.  I looked online for an easier way to do this and did not come up with anything.  The recipes below seem to cook, squash, and strain. That may be the best way.

Vine Info – Maypop Plant Information

The alternate leaves (2 to 6 inches long and wide) are palmate with 3 lobes and finely serrated margins.  (Palmate means having several lobes whose midribs all radiate from one point.)

Maypop loves full sun and the fast growing vine can grow to 25 feet.  It likes moist but well drained soil.

This plant suckers all over the place.  I put in one vine two years ago.  Last year I had suckers coming up twenty to thirty feet away.  The suckers come up from the main plant going out along the roots at about every twelve to eighteen inches.  If you plant these near a lawn you can just mow them down.  I planted mine near a large mulch garden and they went crazy.  Just use caution putting them in the landscape as they can become quite invasive.  I have a separate post on Maypop Propagation if you are interested in propagating this vine.

Maypop Plant Information | A Unique Edible Vine Maypop Fruit Cut in Half

Vitamins / Minerals / Medicinal*

Maypop contains the following vitamins and minerals: Vitamin A, B2, B3, C, iron, and phosphorous.

Tea made from the dried leaves and stem of the passion vine contain alkaloids with a sedative effect on humans.  According to “Passiflora exhibits sedative and anti-anxiety activity in laboratory animals. Human studies of Passiflora, in combination products, have also demonstrated anti-anxiety and sedative properties.”

Maypop Plant Information | A Unique Edible Vine

Maypop Plant Information | A Unique Edible Vine

In these pictures we see one seed with the edible fruit around it and two seeds that are without the edible coating.  It does look very similar to a pomegranate fruit from this perspective.


Maypops Jelly
2 cups ripe maypops, sliced
1 cup water
2-1/2 cups sugar
1-3/4 ounces pectin
Combine the Maypops and water, and boil gently for 5 minutes. Then strain, discarding the pulp. Combine the liquid and sugar and bring to full rolling boil. Add pectin, and again bring to rolling boil. Remove from heat, pour into hot, sterilized jars, and seal. Makes 2-1/2 pints.

Maypops Squash.

4 cups maypops, halved
3/4 cup sugar
1 cinnamon stick, halved
1 whole clove
2-1/2 cups water
1/4 cup lemon juice
Combine the paypops, sugar, cinnamon stick, clove, and water and bring to a boil. simmer gently for 5 minutes. Put through a strainer, pressing fruit to extract all the juice. Add the lemon juice, and chill well before serving. Makes 4 servings.
Maypop Ice Milk

This will make a 1/2 gallon.
3/4 cup non-instant milk powder, 3/4 cup ice water, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 and 1/4 pounds maypop, 3/4 cup honey(And the honey is to taste. So taste the mixture and if it is too tart add more honey, but keep in mind that everything is going to be diluted when you add it to the whipped cream.) which really isn’t cream but that is what I learned to call it. LOL
I put the beaters and bowl in the freezer to chill for 15 minutes. In the chilled bowl make up the ice water and milk powder, beating until stiff, about 20 minutes.When almost stiff I add the extract. In a blender, I process the maypops and honey until thick puree. Taste here for the honey like I said. Then scrape this into the beaten you know cream and beat in well. Then we put into our ice cream maker and crank until set.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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  • Debbie says:

    It was delicious. Do you plant it by seed or root cuttings?

  • Todd McCree says:

    I planted by cutting. I have not tried this one by seed, but I have suckers popping up all over my yard, so I will not need to do any by seed for a while.

  • […] fragrant flowers as well as tasty fruit later in the summer or early fall.  I did a post providing Maypop Plant Information a while back.  Just click on the highlighted link for Maypop Plant […]

  • […] The way that to propagate maypop is to simply dig them up, soak them in water for at least a half hour, then put them in a pot with dirt.  I put the pots with the freshly dug up maypop suckers under my hardy banana trees.  Here they get almost entirely shade.  I will leave them there for about six weeks before I move them to a sunnier location.  I leave them in the shade to give them some time to start establishing roots.  For more information on maypop, check out Maypop Plant Information | A Unique Edible Vine. […]

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