Welcome to my zone 9 garden. My roots are deeply planted in the sandy soil of sub-tropical central Florida, where the summers are long and hot, but the rest of the year is paradise!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Purple Passion

My latest passion in the garden is the purple passion flower vine also known as Maypop! 

Everyday it's loaded with the promise of many new flowers to come.

The large buds open quickly each morning to reveal a quirky, other-worldly, exotic and downright funky looking purple flower. I read that the bloom contains a lot of religious symbolism. 

I weave some of the vine through the fence, while some of it dangles loosely.

It attaches itself with these curly tendrils to the Beautyberry that's planted beneath it.

  I've never seen any flower like it. Each flower is an intricate piece of art. Look at all the detail in that flower. If I were an artist, I wouldn't know where to start to capture all the amazing detail of this passion flower.

Each flower lasts only one day, and then slowly a small round fruit develops. I read that they will ripen later this summer, and I look forward to tasting it and perhaps making some tea with it.

I resisted planting this vine in my yard because I know it can have a somewhat invasive habit, but I relented because of one reason - Butterflies. The Gulf Fritillary and Zebra Longwing (our state butterfly) is also passionate about the passion vine. It is a host plant for their young. I caught a blurry photo of a Zebra Longwing in the lower left corner, as she and her friends flutter around this vine from sun up to sun down.  

They lay their tiny little yellow eggs on top of the leaves,

 and when they hatch they chew on the leaves until they get big and transform into more Zebra Longwings.

 I was lucky to catch these two newly emerged butterflies drying in the sun one morning. 

I don't know why it took me so long to plant this vine, but I'm sure glad I did because I love seeing the gorgeous flowers and the fluttering butterflies through the French door. It's a real summer treat!

I find this flower so mesmerizing! I can't help but admire its bizarre, yet amazing bloom. 

The rock star Prince might have his 'purple rain' but I have my 'purple passion!'


Anonymous said...

Could be my dirty mind, but those two look like they're doing more than drying. LOL

Great post and pictures - the passion vine is one of my favorites . . . but it does spread EVERYwhere here in my garden. And wouldn't you know even the tiny ones I want to pull up have eggs on them. At least that's my excuse (one of many) for my "jungle" garden.

You'll have to let us know how the fruit or tea tastes. I only have one passion vine that produces fruit and I just recently broke a ripe one open to check it out. Couldn't bring myself to taste it as it looked really slimy (I have very juvenile taste buds). :-)

Susan said...

Hi Eli, Yes, I'll probably lose my passion quickly when they start becoming aggressive. There are a few that pop up here and there, but they sure are pur-tee!

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

Love these photos Susan. Passion flowers certainly are beautiful and exotic.

Enjoy ~ FlowerLady

Janice said...

So beautiful! Plants that gorgeous are worth the extra effort to keep them in bounds. I have Zebra Longwings all over my Pagoda Flowers out front but they've yet to discover the passion vine behind the veggie garden...hope they do soon. _Janice

Leslie Kimel said...

So pretty. The flowers are truly amazing. When I was a child I always thought they looked like tiny ballerinas.

I really enjoy your observations in the garden, how tuned in you are, the way that you notice all the little miracles and interesting happenings. Such a fun and inspiring post!

Susan said...

Hi Lorraine - I wonder if you have passion flower in your garden. You live further south and it probably wouldn't freeze there. It is purple and I know you love purple!

Hi Janice - Interesting that yours are on the red pagoda but not the passion vine. Red pagoda must have extra good nectar. I'm sure they'll discover your vine soon.

Hi Leslie - You are so right about the flowers looking like little ballerinas. I hadn't noticed that, but now every time I look at them I'll see those little twirling ballerinas. Thanks for your kind words. I do really like to check things out in the garden and since mine is so small I get to spend plenty of time on the plants I have. :-)

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