The plant is herbaceous but perennial. Thus it will disappear in the winter, but return and increase, beginning to send out new shoots, in the early spring. By mid June, it will be covered with exotic flowers that appear to be a fringe of purple hair surrounding and under a very unusual and somewhat raised combination of pistil and stamens. Under this fringe of hair are ten purple to light pink 'petals' that are actually sepals. Flowers close overnight and open by early afternoon. This flower is the reason for the name. The pistil and stamens together are said to represent the crucifixion of Christ otherwise known as the Passion. The ten
sepals are said to represent the ten disciples, excluding Peter and Judas. The five stamens represent the five wounds placed into Christ's body, and the knob shaped stigmas are said to resemble the nails. The fringe of 'hair' is seen as the crown of thorns.
The Passion flower is native to most of the southeastern United States - ranging from Pennsylvania to Florida. In the wild, it can be found in meadows and pastures and along the edges of woodlands and streams. The plant prefers sun to partial shade and will tolerate almost any kind of soil from loams to sands and from moist to dry. It will not tolerate saline conditions though. The fruit is highly favored by a variety of birds and the plant attracts a number of butterfly species.
If Passion flower should happen to favor you with its presence, you might consider finding a home for it. I like to see it mixed with other native vines to create areas of bedded ground cover in place of massive areas of grass. A good companion is the Virginia creeper. No matter how you proposed to use it, Passion flower can be a welcome addition to your site.