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Purple Passion-flower, sometimes called "Maypops," is a common ground vine of the Carolina Piedmont. It blooms May to August and produces a yellowish egg-shaped fruit that is edible. In the photo above, a Yellow Crab Spider sits on the passion-flower's three-lobed leaf, undoubtedly awaiting an unsuspecting insect pollinator to approach the purple blossom.

Both the scientific name (Passiflora incarnata) and the common name of the passion-flower come from its supposed resemblance to aspects of Christ's crucifixion: five petals and five sepals (the ten disciples, minus Judas & Peter); outer fringe (the crown of thorns); five stamens (number of wounds Christ received); knob-like stigmas of the pistil (the nails).

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Hilton Pond Center for Piedmont Natural History is a non-profit research & education organization in York, South Carolina USA; phone (803) 684-5852. Directed by Bill Hilton Jr., aka The Piedmont Naturalist, it is the parent organization for Operation RubyThroat. Contents of this website--including articles and photos--may NOT be duplicated, modified, or used in any way except with the express written permission of Hilton Pond Center. All rights reserved worldwide. To obtain permission for use or for further assistance on accessing this Web site, contact the Webmaster.