Just a weed

There are a few things I need to remind you about myself before we get into today's post. First, I love big plants. Second, I'm not afraid of vigorous growth or spreading tendencies -- I do grow 30+ types of running bamboo after all. Third, I love flowering vines. Fourth, I often let volunteers grow where they want, which usually means they're not in the best places. With all of that being said, I'd like to introduce you to one of the three main "weeds" in my garden right now:


It's Passiflora incarnata or "maypop", purple passionflower. This is a cold-hardy, native, perennial vine that spreads from its thick roots and is currently taking over the patio area of my garden. But the blooms are so fantastic I really don't care! Although some of the flowers are in reach right now -- a few are on the ground where the vines haven't been able to find anything to climb -- most are above my head, too difficult to photograph easily.


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Since I can't help but photograph these intricate beauties, I spent some time almost blindly shooting upward, holding the macro lens a few inches a few inches from each bloom, arms fully outstretched, sometimes on tiptoe.

The result was some interesting and beautiful shots, not showing the blooms as a whole, but showing the best parts, like the stripes...



... or the clinging tendrils that many climbing vines employ...



...or the wavy string-like petals...










The vines are loaded with buds, and in a few days it looks like dozens of these will be open, attracting bees and perfuming the air. It's going to be amazing!

Want to see more? I've posted about these vines before.


If you live in the St. Louis area and want to grow this vine yourself, please contact me. I'll be digging up the vines that are coming up in the lawn so will have plenty to share!

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Denise  – (July 29, 2014 at 10:18 AM)  

Some plants just beg to be photographed -- well, make that all plants, but some like passiflora are so ready for their closeup! Nice.

outlawgardener  – (July 29, 2014 at 10:21 AM)  

Yowsa! What gorgeous blooms. I wish my weeds looked so good!

Mark and Gaz  – (July 29, 2014 at 11:54 AM)  

Those are gorgeous blooms, and photos! These vigorous plants, most of the time they're only as vigorous as how much the gardener will let them be. And if you're a constant gardener they'll be kept I check.

Alan  – (July 29, 2014 at 12:04 PM)  

Mark and/or Gaz: I'm not a constant gardener, but lots of beautiful vines just doesn't seem like a problem -- until the day it is and I'm yanking them out of trees and everything else. :)

danger garden  – (July 29, 2014 at 11:50 PM)  

I stupidly listened to someone who told me how invasive a Passion flower was years ago. It was a white flowering beauty but I dug it and put it in a container where I could control it, stupid! Naturally it refused to flower and was soon compost. Now I just let these thuggish things run wild and cut and pull as needed. In other words, I like your style.

Alan  – (July 30, 2014 at 7:05 AM)  

Loree: which part of your garden is the "run wild" area? Everything seemed to be in check when I saw it. :)

Lisa  – (July 30, 2014 at 8:09 AM)  

Oh, gardening jealousy! We tried to grow maypop from seed this year and NOTHING! They are spectacular!

Alan  – (July 30, 2014 at 10:57 AM)  

Lisa: email me. I'll send you some plants.

Paula Sealey  – (July 30, 2014 at 11:32 AM)  

What great photos of the passionflower, it is a beautiful plant! What a shame I'm in the UK and can't take advantage of your free offer, it's been on my 'to buy' list for ages. Next year, I will get one!

Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (August 5, 2014 at 2:44 PM)  

Alan, how long do the flowers last? I planted a hybrid last year and while the flowers are spectacular, they only last for a day.

And is the fruit edible? If they taste anything like the passionfruit in Hawaii (Passiflora edulis), they are special treat indeed.

Alan  – (August 5, 2014 at 3:31 PM)  

Gerhard: the juicy pulp around each seed is delicious, but most of the fruit is hollow. I think the flowers do only last for a day (maybe 2 or 3), but there are so many buds there are always a few in flower.

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