Sunday, September 18, 2016

Finally!

Over the course of this year, I have ended up growing four different species of passionflower. Passiflora edulis, the one commonly cultivated for passionfruit, grown from seed taken from a fresh passionfruit soda, has become a lush vine clambering in every direction but has yet to show even a trace of a flower bud. The very common blue passionflower (Passiflora caerulea) I picked up as a small cutting from a local garden center on a whim this spring. As during all my previous attempts at growing it as a child in southern Germany - where quite a few people successfully grow it has an exuberant hardy vine that covers entire walls and pergolas - it has only been growing weakly and any flower buds have turned yellow and dropped off well before blooming. The third is a small seedling of a hitherto unidentified species, grown from some seeds I picked somewhere by the side of the road. It is probably too small to flower anyway, but now it also suddenly appears sickly for no apparent reason after growing well for most of the summer. However, the fourth one is a success story; my maypop or purple passionflower (Passiflora incarnata), grown from root cuttings taken from the plant in my parents' Michigan garden late last fall. They cut a rather pitiful figure through spring and early summer but began to take off with the heat of July and August and lots of fertilizer and watering, and now they have finally begun blooming.

The first to blooms to open...

...one more purple...

... and one more pale

Maybe one day I will have better luck with other passionflowers, too. In the meantime, the native, fragrant Passiflora incarnata is my favorite anyway.

6 comments:

  1. Such beautiful flowers. I first saw this bloom when I was a young girl in England. A class member brought in one that her father was growing in the greenhouse and told the story of what each part of the flower represented. It seemed so exotic in cold grey England. It is sad that some plants seem to wither and die but I guess it happens in all forms of life. You do have one beautiful plant though.

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    1. Yes, luckily there are always successes to make up for the failures, especially those unexplained or unexpected ones... :)

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  2. Beautiful! The color is so interesting!
    Is the fruit edible?

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    1. I think theoretically it is, but not tasty like that of the species grown for food.

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  3. Love this vine with it's exotic flowers. It's always a surprise that they're hardy in cold winter climates like Michigan and the northeast. Never saw any in my Alaska garden days but then that was zone 3.

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    1. This species is definitely one of the hardiest, and it is probably at the limit of its range in Zone 6 or 5.

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