this morning I went out for an early morning exploration of an abandoned rail siding near my house (no, i don’t make a habit of early morning rail line explorations, but the keen eye canine was in need of his walk) and i happened upon the most glorious vision! Along the siding was a thicket of passionflower. i thought to myself, surely that can’t be the same passionflower i’ve been failing miserably to cultivate in my garden for years – and it’s not, it’s maypop! maypop – can you believe the name?
maypop, or purple passionflower (passiflora incarnata), is a fast growing and hardy perennial wildflower in the southern united states. hooray for the lovely climate in my little ‘ville! silly me, i’ve been struggling (read: killing) with the species more ideally suited to the tropics, not knowing that there is a species more native to my area growing right around the corner.
maypop is not only valued for its stunning flowers – it also bears a small fruit, called maypop, may apple, or wild apricot, which can be eaten (although there’s not much to them) or dried and used to aid with insomnia and nervous anxiety.
interestingly, the vine thrives in disturbed areas, like the rail siding, where it provides the most gorgeous contrast to the industrial landscape. i’m hoping to put it to good use along the fence in my less-than-industrial-but-in-need-of-beauty back yard!