passion flower

5 Jul

This probably is the most common of this type of vine but possibly also the hardiest for climates with cold winters. Still, we sometimes have pretty severe winters, so I save the seeds and replant every spring. The plants typically don’t sprout until late in the spring–I’ve had them sprout as late as July, so it’s easy to forget they’ve been planted.  The seeds are found in round green “fruit” about 2″ in diameter (in this variety the fruit is not edible) that develops toward the end of the season; each contains numerous seeds that can be dried and stored indoors over the winter. The plant has a habit of sending out underground runners, so plants can pop up where you don’t want them, which is probably why some people plant them along fences and let them vine where they will. Any that sprout away from the fence can be mowed down with the grass. The flowers’ features are said to represent the suffering of Jesus Christ. If you view the vine from several feet away, you might not even notice the flowers. They often are hidden among the vines and you must view them up close to appreciate their complexity.

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