Passiflora incarnata, Purple Passion Flower
The Cherokee Nation was reported to use P. incarnata for a number of reasons. They ate the fruit raw for sustenance and they also boiled and cooked leaves as well. P. incarnata was also used medicinally for boils, and ear drops were made from cold infusions to treat earaches.
P. incarnata is an amazing climbing vine to include in any garden that wants vines and restoration projects. It does spread through rhizomes, so it will pop up around the vicinity in which it was planted. Bees and butterflies are very attracted to P. incarnata. Passiflora species are also host plants for Fritillary Butterflies (pictures 5 and 6), Zebra Longwing (picture 7), and Red-Banded Hairstreaks!
Harvest (for seeds) when the fruit is beginning to turn yellow and wrinkle. Due to the goopy interior of the fruit, processing seeds is a little more involved. We recommend soaking the seeds in water, showering them in a strainer thereby removing some of the innards once a day, and resoak them in freshwater until they are nice and clean. We recommend changing the water daily. After your seeds are processed, you’ll want to stratify your seeds for 60 days!