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PassionflowerPassiflora incarnata
American passionflower, Maypop
Passionflower is thought to affect the passions, perhaps because of its name, its showy, sweet-scented flowers (ruled by Venus), and its twining habit.

Passionflower fruitIt acts more surely on the mind, though, and is mildly sedating. In the US, it has historically been made into a tincture or tea drunk for nervous anxiety, spasms, or insomnia(which some say puts it in Moon) and is still used in Western Europe for these reasons. It has no addictive or narcotic difficulties associated with it. The flowers of this beautiful perennial climber are used in Ayurvedic medicine, and the whole plant in Eclectic medicine. This plant grows like mad in the southeastern US, where it is a native, and is the favorite food of many butterfly caterpillars. It is one of the few non-tropical passifloras. Its fruits were relished by the Algonquin Indians. Top

Passionflower leafHow to grow passionflower. Plant seeds 1/2 inch deep and use bottom heat if starting them inside (an old heating pad placed under the flat and set on medium works well). The seeds may take 30 or more days to germinate, but they seem to do well if stored in the fridge before planting. Another method is letting the seeds sit in a small amount of orange juice until the juice ferments, about 4 days.  Then wash off the seeds and sow.  They should germinate in a week. Set the seedlings outside (get them used to the sun slowly, a few hours a day) 12" apart in somewhat dry soil and full sun. Passionflower can be grown outside as far north as southern Illinois or Boston (there are reports it can be grown outside even farther north). One or two is probably more passionflower than you could ever use. It is okay to let caterpillars eat the leaves (Gulf Coast fritillaries and Admiral butterflies love them), because the plant will regrow with little effect--vines can be 30 feet long in the South, 15 ft up north. Give it something to climb up, like a net, and make sure that any trellis it's on is sturdily anchored; plant mass is unexpectedly heavy. You can also try letting it trail. Once it's established, you can get more plants from cuttings. General growing info  Top

Passiflora incarnata
American passionflower
10 seeds $3.75


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Uses in Witchcraft & Magic:

Venus Herb

2004, 2017 Harold A. Roth; No reproduction without permission