I love passion flowers (Passiflora incarnata). The blossoms are in equal measure, grand and weird – kind of like a clematis from Mars. The flowers only last for about a day, but they are spectacular.
Legend has it that the passion flower was named by early missionaries because it reminded them of the crown of thorns Jesus wore (though I have also read more complex versions of how the passion flower got its name).
Passion flower, is also known as maypop because in parts of the Southeastern United States, the plants seem to 'pop' up in May. In some places passion flowers are considered an invasive weed and can be found crawling over the countryside.
The fruit of the passion flower is edible and parts of the plant are used as medicinal herbs to treat high blood pressure, anxiety and insomnia. However there appear to be parts of the plant that are potentially poisonous.
Passion flowers attract bees and hummingbirds. They are fast climbers and look great on trellises or climbing up fences. They require a fairly large pot filled with fast draining soil. They prefer moist soil, but don't like to be over-watered. Passion flowers need regular feeding during the growing season and prefer partial shade, though in most areas, will tolerate full sun.
Passion flowers combine beautifully with many other plants and the types of pots you can plant them in is endless - just make sure it's large enough and has great drainage. Here's a passion flower in a pot, with monkey flower flowering maple.
It is possible to overwinter passion flowers indoors, but not easy.
You can see a video of a passion flower, taken over the course of an afternoon, unfurling into a fantastic blossom. Talk about otherworldly.