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Passiflora incarnata Linnaeus The Passionflower Family of three hundred and fifty species is ex- clusively American, and nearly all the species are inhabitants of the tropics. Only a few are found in the United States and of these the maypop is hardy as far north as Virginia and even farther northward. It is a vigorous vine, often growing thirty feet in length, with many tendrils and rich green leaves. The peculiarly scented flowers attract universal attention by their complicated structure and coloring. The various organs of the flower suggested to the devout Spaniards the objects associated with the passion of our Lord, and the Latin name was given in consequence. The fruit is as large as a hen's egg and pale yellow. Its smooth rind is very tough, and the many and large seeds are surrounded by a juicy sweet pulp, which is eaten by children. Some of the tropical passionflowers are highly esteemed for their edible fruits of superior flavor. The common name of the plant refers to the loud popping noise that it makes when squeezed until it bursts. Tennessee has adopted it as the State flower. The maypop grows from Florida to Texas and northward to Virginia, southern Indiana, and Missouri. It is easily cultivated, but is not safe to introduce into small gardens, because of its spreading tendencies. The sketch was made from specimens secured near Savannah, Georgia.
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