Jan. 22, 2018

purple passionflower, Passiflora incarnata

Purple passion in Ohio? It seems like this should be happening in a jungle somewhere. But before we get too wrapped up in the passions of the flesh in Parkersburg, that's not the passion involved here. In the early days of the discovery of this New World genus, Spanish missionaries saw symbols of the passion of Christ in the complex parts of these flowers. Any physical passion remotely involved would be the edible fruit, called maypops. Those are used fresh, in preserves, or for juice. Maypop vines and their amazing two-inch-or-more flowers can be found in AL, AR, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN(R), KS, KY, LA, MD, MO, MS, NC, OH(T), OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, and WV. Beal Gardens, MSU, 9/7/14.