Plants and Prose

Maypop Memories

The gig's up. The mystery's solved. The Flickr Pix of the Week was Passiflora 'Incense'.

One of this hybrid's parents is commonly known as Maypop, and just about everything I know about the plant — also known as Passiflora incarnata — I found out this week from you.

All I'd hoped was to tease out a few passiflora experts with our Talking Plants Flicker Pix of the Week. And I did find a few.

But I'm happy to report I got way more than I bargained for. Click here and you will, too.

For instance: Chris has learned not to kill caterpillars (right, Chris?) because they could turn into Gulf Fritillary butterflies; Jason uses the plant's flowers to make tea; Michelle used to pretend the flowers were ballerinas, with three sets of arms and three heads; and Serene has a recipe for passiflora juice.

In addition: it's the Tennessee state wildflower, it's rich with Christian symbolism, and it does a wicked imitation of that creature immortalized in the 1958 classic, The Purple People Eater.

Finally, I'm aware of at least one person in our community who did NOT use a search engine to come up with the mystery plant's name. Congrats, Tai Haku.

I send you off into the weekend with the maypop memories of a Glasgwegian. Here's the last two stanzas of Where The Passion Flower Grows, by a fellow flower-lover, Charles M. Moore.

Feel your mind exploding
in the heavy scented air
experience the shiver
as you're captured unaware

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On the butterfly front: Passiflora generally are one of the main food plants of Heleconius butterflies, a really popular genus with butterfly farms, which means your local butterfly conservatory can be a great place to find unusual Passifloras and beg some cuttings.

Sent by Tai Haku | 2:43 PM | 9-7-2007

A wonderful poem. Simplistic in it's delivery, though complicated from the idea within. Thanks for the share !

Sent by Rick2M | 12:22 AM | 2-16-2008