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PlantFiles: Passion Flower, Passionflower, Passion Vine, Passionvine
Passiflora 'Incense'

Family: Passifloraceae (pas-ih-flor-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Passiflora (pass-iff-FLOR-uh) (Info)
Cultivar: Incense

Synonym:Passiflora incarnata x cincinnata

5 vendors have this plant for sale.

36 members have or want this plant for trade.

View this plant in a garden

Vines and Climbers

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)
8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Flowers are fragrant
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From softwood cuttings
From semi-hardwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing
Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

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10 positives
5 neutrals
3 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive FlyPoison On Dec 21, 2012, FlyPoison from Rock Hill, SC (Zone 7a) wrote:

A great hardy native that is a key food source for the gulf coast fritillary larva. The larva usually decimate the plant in late summer to early fall after the plant is done blooming. Regardless, the plant always come back strong the following season. It's well worth planting for those that have an area where it can grow freely and climb shrubs and small trees. The ripe fruits can also be eaten as is or cooked in various ways.

Positive arthurb3 On Jul 1, 2012, arthurb3 from Raleigh, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:

Hardy and aggressive. This passion flower has large flowers and leaves. The flowers are beautifull and fragrant. It sends up suckers a few feet from the original location but they are easy to dig up and move or give away.

Positive mizar5 On Nov 17, 2011, mizar5 from Merritt Island, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I used this to cover a neighbor's ugly chain link fencing. The neighbor didn't mind and it has worked out beautifully for both sides.

Yes, I find volunteers coming up in the area -- as far as 10-15 feet away from the fence, in the lawn!) but it's worth plucking a few out every month or two to have the ugly fence covered with beautiful greenery and blooms most of the year with NO care except sprinklers hitting it. It not only covers 200 feet of hideous chainlink fence, it grows where little else WILL grow.

Also, we now have tons (tons!) of butterflies. This plant is obviously NOT for everyone, but if you think carefully about your goals and time willing to spend keeping it where you want it, it's a winner.

Neutral rjogden On Jun 1, 2011, rjogden from Gainesville, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

A note to those who asked about the fruit (whether it produces any, or why it doesn't for them). It is an inter-specific cross and the pollen is sterile. It requires another passionflower in bloom at the same time in order to set fruit. P. incarnata has reportedly been successful in this role.

By the same token, seeds sown from P. x "Incense" will by necessity NOT produce P. x "Incense" plants, but rather another hybrid mixture. E.g.: pollination by P. incarnata would result in seeds whose embryos would contain a genetic mixture approximately 3/4 derived from the P. incarnata parent. I would urge caution! If it is possible to create a new back-cross with viable pollen and seed that retained the rampant invasive habit of Incense, we could conceivably see a new version of the infamous "air potato" or "Hall's honeysuckle", from the deep South all the way up to Zone 5.

Remember, "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions."


Neutral Tim_in_Houston On Jul 22, 2010, Tim_in_Houston from Houston, TX wrote:

I planted " Incense Passion Flower " vine two seasons ago. This winter, amazingly, we had hard freezes which killed most of my not-so-hardy fence climbing vines. So, I was a little surprised that the Passiflora returned so heartily this spring and has really turned on the growth since we have had so much rain over the past month or so. Anyway, this year it is producing fruit for the first time and right now I have several globes which are approaching 1-1/2" - 2" diameter. I am unsure how long they take to ripen, however, it appears I will have a great many of these and would be happy to share seeds with anyone who wants them.

A word of warning : This vine has virtually taken over a 40 foot section of fence which is also covered with Carolina Jasmine, Wisteria, etc. IF you plant this species it should possibly be contained in subsurface terra cotta or plastic pots, as it comes up all over the place ( for instance 40 feet away in the middle of my tomatoes, etc. ) so use caution when nominating this very aggressive vine !

Negative omasuziq On Jun 30, 2010, omasuziq from Greensboro, NC (Zone 7a) wrote:

I planted one Passiflora incarnata "Maypop" and planter beware! It was listed at the time as not being hardy in Zone 7, where I live. Wrong. (The same providers now acknowledge - too late - it is hardy to Zone 5!) It tried to take over the entire lawn and garden area. This had nothing to do with seeds from its (inedible) fruits. The vine itself simply sent up off-shoots all over the place, as I suspect "Incense" does as well. I love Passionflowers but would never again plant them without thoroughly containing their roots. If any DG subscribers know of a perennial Passiflora that does not have this instinct to take over, or of a tenderer variety that would bloom beautifully as an annual only, I'd appreciate knowing about either.

Negative LeslieT On Jun 28, 2010, LeslieT from Bellaire, TX wrote:

I, too, have found nearly all passionflower vines extremely invasive in my Bellaire (Houston) garden. But, I have found one cultivar that did NOT seed prolifically, while blooming almost the entire year. I am pretty confident that this succesful plant is Pasiflora 'Allardii' (the marker was lost). I had problems with P. 'Jeannette', P. singuinolenta' and one other cultivar whose order sheet is missing from my files. I've carefully studied the pictures of 'Allardii' and strongly believe this is THE passionflower vine that I love. I had two of them, the first planted in 2004. It was so successful that I ordered a second from Kartuz Greenhouse in California.

Alas, 'Allardii' was killed by our extremely cold winter this year and so far Kartuz hasn't had any plants. I check regularly - - the plant is THAT good. The butterflies LOVED it, it bloomed all the time and only once did I get a seedling from the 2004 plant which was eagerly snapped up by a friend.

So, don't give up on this vine. But, heaven help you if you plant the species, or 'Incense', etc. in Gulf Coast or Florida areas.

Positive RxAngel On Sep 27, 2009, RxAngel from Stratford, TX (Zone 6b) wrote:

I live in extreme Southwestern Kansas, and this is my first year here, and also my first year with PassionFlower experience. It took a while for it to get going, but last month I had a small explosion of blooms. But I have no fruit...any ideas why? Also, it does not seem to be spreading at all. As a matter of fact, my Black-eyed Susan vine is overtaking it now. It is a gorgeous, unusual flower, and the leaves are a very interesting shape. I hope it comes back next year. If not, I will definitely plant another one, and try it in a more sheltered place.

Negative 1alh1 On Jul 14, 2008, 1alh1 from Sidney, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

I think this is the variety of passion flower I have growing along my fence. I was told it was an Ohio State University hybrid, making it hardy in my Zone 5 garden. It has been VERY hardy for the past 2 years. It is now starting to send runners into my neighbor's lawn. The flowers are beautiful, however, and even though the Japanese Beetles love them, I love them more.

2 years later, and I can't stop the invasion. It sends runners and shoots everywhere, and although I keep digging them out as I spot them, every drop of rain encourages new growth. I feel even worse about their growth in my neighbor's lawn. He was mowing them down, but is now using full-strength Round-Up to kill them as they crop up everywhere. If I had only put them in pots, I wouldn't have had this problem. Definitely not a tropical vine.

Neutral JaxFlaGardener On May 31, 2008, JaxFlaGardener from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

I echo the comments above about how prolifically Passiflora 'incense' will spread (it is THE MOST invasive plant I've ever grown!) I planted a few of the vines about four years ago. It began its march in a gradually widening circle away from the orioginal plants soon after planting. It spreads by underground roots. A new vine plant will pop up from the root nodes, supplying more energy for the roots to keep growing further, and further, and further. It has now climbed to the top of nearby oak trees and completely engulfed my backyard. I let it go because I had taken down some very large oaks that were a threat to my house structure in hurricanes. I had the tree surgeons leave the tree debris (saved a lot of money, avoided having the tree workers dragging debris through my gardens to the street which saved my plants from being destroyed, and the debris breaks down within a few years to form rich humus for the soil while providing native habitats for wildlife). The Passiflora 'incense' was able to completely hide the tree debris from sight. My backyard looks like one huge undulating passion vine. The scent is very heady -- smells like warm honey fresh from a beehive to me. At any given time, I do have dozens of Gulf Fritillaries and Zebra Longwings (both of which use Passiflora as a host plant) fluttering around in my garden. Their caterpillars seem to prefer the fresh, young shoots of Passiflora 'incense' and actually seem to show more of a preference for the Passiflora caerulea cultivars I also grow, probably due to the thinner leaves and more succulent stalks of caerulea. As noted above, the caterpillars do avoid the Red Passion Vine (Passiflora coccinea and also the Citrus-Yellow Passion Vine (Passiflora citrina. Many people in Florida report that their edible Passion Vine (Passiflora edulis) are decimated by the caterpillars, but they don't seem to eat these in my garden, possibly due to the smorgasbord choices they have from the several varieties of passion vines that I grow.


Positive FloridaG8or On Jan 24, 2007, FloridaG8or from Lake Butler, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

Passion Flower is native to Florida (though many do not know). It is beautiful, and the smell when it is in bloom is an obvious reason for the name "incense." One word of warning, this plant will send up runners, and the leaves are poisonous. But, you can eat the fruit, this is where we get "Passion Fruit" from. V-8 makes a good juice from it.
Good note: this is the larval plant for the Gulf Fritilary butterfly. These catapillars have stripped all of my plants, but not to worry, the plants bounce back! WARNING: not all passion flower strands will host the catipillars, there are (numerous) strains that will trick the butterfly to lay eggs, but the catapillars cannot obtain the proper nutrients to grow and turn into a butterfly, I believe it is the red passion flower not to plant for sure.

Positive aprilwillis On Sep 26, 2006, aprilwillis from Missouri City, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

This is a very aggressive vine; flowers are beautiful w/ an intoxicating scent. The plant multiplies rapidly by sending out many, many runners. Is potentially root hardy to zone 6. Requires little if any attention.

Neutral SudieGoodman On Mar 1, 2005, SudieGoodman from Broaddus, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

My daughter gave me large fruit, from passion flower. I dried out the seeds and planted them. They overwintered in greenhouse and I plan to plant seedlings at my arbor this March 2005. I'm looking forward to successful experience with Incense (Passiflora).

Neutral rplingaltx On Jan 15, 2005, rplingaltx from Galveston, TX wrote:

Well, I have mixed feelings about this variety of passionflower. I first planted it several years ago and the butterfly larvae killed the vines before they could establish. So....when i decided to replant I purchased 5 vines(Incense is a bit hard to find in my area) to have some insurance against the butterfly explosion. Anyway, that year the butterflies did not show up so all of the vines did well. I planted the vines along a fence that has a large old juniper hedge that I hated. Within one season the vines covered the entire hedge...killing the junipers in the process and making passers-by stop and take pictures of the literally hundreds and hundreds of flowers blooming every day. It was amazing. Even the next year when the butterflies discovered the vines it was still amazing. By then, the vines were established enough to keep up with the larvae. In May I would walk out my door and there would be 50+butterflies fluttering around feeding, breeding, and doing what butterflies do. The drawback to these vines is that once established, you will NEVER be rid of them. They spread underground and come up 40 or 50 feet away in the lawn....they will sprout up and smother anything in the area. You must be diligent in pulling up the little vines or they will cover and kill everything in their path. For this reason I have decided to cut down the dead hedge they are growing on this year and attempt to either severely limit or eradicate them alltogether from my yard.
If you plant passionflowers just be aware that they will take over given a chance...and also if you plant them for the butterflies make sure of the variety you are planting. Not all varieties support butterfly larvae and can fool the butterflies into laying eggs on them that are doomed to die when the larvae cannot feed on the leaves. Do your homework. That said, anyone in the Houston/Galveston area is welcome to come dig up as many Incense vines as they can carry! **update** So I think I may have discovered what will kill this vine...7 feet of salt water in my yard during hurricane Ike! Right after the storm there were a few new shoots of my passionflowers coming up, but now it seems all are dead. This vine was quite extensive in my yard so it will be interesting to see if it is totally gone or just severely limited.

Positive TucsonJen On Oct 8, 2004, TucsonJen from Tucson, AZ (Zone 9a) wrote:

Hmm. I have five vines that were labeled 'Incense' incarnata x cinnicata. Same plant? The flowers look the same to this amateur eye. Perhaps a spelling error along the way?

Right now I'm letting a few hundred caterpillars munch them down for the winter and we're delighting in the butterflies.

They were mislabeled. The correct spelling is "cincinnata." There are so many butterflies now that it's hard to see the vines!

Positive elliemae On Jul 16, 2004, elliemae from Kent, OH wrote:

third passionfloer i've had, first one that overwintered in my basement to thrive and bloom again. are the fruits edible? the flowers are
beautiful,scent is interesting. am pleased with the plant.

Positive RxBenson On Jun 24, 2004, RxBenson from Pikesville, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:

In Baltimore it died to the ground (of couse) and then practically took over the fence late the following spring, blooming profusely and scenting the entire yard! In coastal NJ, however, it just will not survive the winters-- in spite of us being Zone 7-ish here! I now keep it in a large pot and put it in a sunny south window to maintain it until it can get set outside (in pot) when the rest of the more tender collection goes out for the summer. It is in pre-burst bud today (6-24-04) and I see that the thrips have discovered it!

I have eight other varieties now, but Incense was my first and it has won my heart.

Positive wanda0810 On Jun 20, 2003, wanda0810 from Ashville, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:

I live in zone 5 and this plant comes up every year each year it comes back thicker and thicker


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Mesa, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona
Mc Neil, Arkansas
Citrus Heights, California
Fallbrook, California
Garden Grove, California
Laguna Beach, California
Ontario, California
San Clemente, California
San Francisco, California
San Leandro, California
Woodcrest, California
Beacon Falls, Connecticut
Brooksville, Florida
Clearwater, Florida
Eustis, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida (2 reports)
Jupiter, Florida
Kissimmee, Florida
Lake Butler, Florida
Melbourne Beach, Florida
Merritt Island, Florida
Navarre, Florida
Ocoee, Florida
Opa Locka, Florida
Orange Park, Florida
Pinellas Park, Florida
Rockledge, Florida
Saint Augustine, Florida
Tampa, Florida
Vero Beach, Florida
Wellborn, Florida
Winter Springs, Florida
Hinesville, Georgia
Rolla, Kansas
Latonia, Kentucky
Prospect, Kentucky
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Chauvin, Louisiana
Covington, Louisiana
Monroe, Louisiana
Silver Spring, Maryland
Dearborn Heights, Michigan
Carriere, Mississippi
Gloster, Mississippi
Henderson, Nevada
Port Norris, New Jersey
New York City, New York
Saint James, New York
Raleigh, North Carolina
Ashville, Ohio
Glouster, Ohio
Sidney, Ohio
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Huron, Tennessee
Arlington, Texas
Austin, Texas
Bellaire, Texas
Broaddus, Texas
College Station, Texas (2 reports)
Dallas, Texas
Emory, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas (2 reports)
Galveston, Texas
Houston, Texas (2 reports)
Huntsville, Texas
Lewisville, Texas
Missouri City, Texas
Plano, Texas
Portland, Texas
Princeton, Texas
Rosenberg, Texas
Round Rock, Texas
Santa Fe, Texas
Smithville, Texas
Texarkana, Texas
Tyler, Texas
Wharton, Texas
Salt Lake City, Utah
Gloucester, Virginia
Nellysford, Virginia
Sterling, Virginia
Amma, West Virginia
Franklin, Wisconsin

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