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PASSIFLORA 'Incense'

Image of Passiflora 'Incense'

Holly Chichester

Family

Passifloraceae

Botanical Name

PASSIFLORA 'Incense'

Plant Common Name

Hybrid Passionflower

General Description

Very cold tolerant, fragrant, and beautiful, passion flower ‘Incense’ is a popular perennial vine. It is a hybrid between the United States native Passiflora incarnata and Passiflora cincinnata from South America. It is evergreen in frost-free areas and deciduous in colder locations.

The dark green, lobed leaves are arranged alternately on thin stems. The vines climb by tendrils produced in the leaf axils (joint between the leaves and stems). Beautiful, spicy-sweet scented, lavender-purple flowers appear summer through fall. The complex flowers are composed of creamy-green hued fleshy reproductive structures surrounded by a fringe of dark purple lavender filaments and many lavender petals. Edible, egg-shaped passion fruits follow the flowers from late summer into fall and are yellow to olive-toned when ripe.

Passion flower ‘Incense’ is a large, vigorous, aggressive vine and soon covers structures or other plants. It prefers to grow in full sun but will tolerate light shade for a short portion of the day. Well-drained soil is required. Passion flower vines are drought tolerant but look best with irrigation in dry times. This hybrid is has some tolerance for heat and cold. It will take a few degrees around freezing and is root hardy if well mulched. Grow it in containers where not hardy.

Passion flower vines can be weedy, spreading by suckers and rooted stems. In some areas it is considered an invasive plant. It is the host and larval food for several butterfly species which can cause the leaves to look tattered and chewed. Grow “Incense’ as a ground cover, or on trellises and other supports, for the lovely flowers and abundance of butterflies it attracts.

Characteristics

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    6 - 11

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Vine/Liana

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    10'-20' / 3.0m - 6.1m

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer

  • Native To

    Hybrid Origin

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Vining/Climbing

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Purple, Lavender, Violet, Ivory

  • Flower Color Modifier

    Multi-Color

  • Fruit Color

    Yellow, Olive

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Dark Green

  • Bark Color

    Green, Brown

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    Yes

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    Yes

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Container, Cutflower, Feature Plant, Hanging Basket, Rock Garden / Wall, Topiary / Bonsai / Espalier, Tropical, Vine

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Attracts

    Hummingbirds, Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes