Can someone tell me what flower is this?

LouinNCAugust 1, 2012


I was walking my dog at the greenway and I came across this flower near the footpath. It was love at first sight.

I know it's some kind of "weed" because I cut off the top of the plant, flower and all, and put the stem in a bottle with water in my kitchen and a few HOURS later it already had roots which are longer today. I want to be careful where I plant it because I don't want it to take over; which it will probably do anyway, I imagine. But I wanted to know the name so I could at least research it a little and see how to best handle it.

Any help is greatly appreciated.



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Passionvine or Maypop Passiflora incarnata

A perennial weed with edible fruit.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2012 at 5:29PM
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A native plant that is the host for the Gulf Fritillary butterfly.

Here is a link that might be useful: Gulf Fritillary

    Bookmark   August 2, 2012 at 12:55PM
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Awesome. So basically a north american version of the passion fruit. My love grows!! Thank you both for the response.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2012 at 2:06PM
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I grow one in my yard that I collected from the wild that has very tasty fruit. Rumor has it that some of them taste bland while others taste very tropical. I found one that was covered in flowers so I collected seeds just to have a heavy bloomer - the flavorful fruit was just an added bonus. You can't really control these guys, they tend to grow and take over wherever they want (which may or may not be in the same place you plant them).

The fruit will ripen in a month or so, they look like apple green eggs hanging from the vine. They taste best if they are slightly wrinkled and picked up off the ground after they fall. The juice is in the little blobs of goo that surround each seed - when you pop the fruit open it kinda looks like frog eggs inside. Sounds gross but makes the best drink mixed with orange juice.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 9:20AM
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Sounds like the "downside" of having too many of these gorgeous flowers blooming in one's garden is having too many delicious fruits to enjoy.

Do you need a trellis of some sort to keep the erect? The plant I found seems too flimsy to withstand the weight of even just one egg-sized fruit.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 12:39PM
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woodywoodchuck(Wake Forest, NC 7)

Passiflora incarnata as stated above. I have had it in my yard for about 5 years now, great medicinal herb and beautiful flowers.

Mine like compacted, dry clay soil. By compacted I mean it spread from a really nice composted bed to the full sun gravel driveway where it thrives. At my place it prefers no fertilizer or special attention, even watering is a no no for it. The vines will grow 25 to 30 feet in a season and flower continuously if they are kept picked. You can stake it but make sure it is either very tall or you will need to re-train it what seems like several times a week.

If you are just after the fruit pinch the plant back so there are several terminal stems. Keep the flowers picked until around mid to late September then let them go. One it starts to fruit the flowers will stop, at least on mine. Watch the squirrels, they love them! They get sweeter after a frost or at least come cold nights. They will fruit earlier but mine have very little flavor, they seem to need that frost. You are looking for a yellow wrinkled look to them.

Watch them though, they are wild spreaders through the roots!

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 3:23PM
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These plants attach by tendrils so if you have a trellis it needs to have thin supports so that the vine has something it can wrap the tendrils around. I have the other species (Passiflora lutea) and it winds it's way through shrubs.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 8:19AM
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Thank you to everyone that has joined this conversation. After thinking more about it I'm leaning towards tending the plant in the greenway where it's growing naturally. One, it obviously loves its chosen spot. Two, it can colonize and spread over the land to its heart content. And three, nobody, as far as I know, is paying them much mind but me anyway, so it might as well be an extension of my garden. I will see how much I like the fruit and what competition I have for it this year, then re-think my decision.

I would like to maximize the fruit production and I think I understand the theory of pinching the plant back. I'll get to working on this. As for the flowers, can anything be done with them? Woodywoodchuck, you say it is a medicinal herb. What is it that one uses, the leaves or the flowers? Would you share how and to what benefit you use the derived concoctions?

Esh, it seems the plants in the wild likes using the shrub climbing you mention and it's pretty efficient at it. If I decide to plant on my property, I will be offering it that method.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 12:35PM
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