Can anyone ID this vine?

reddingJuly 5, 2011

All right, all you OK gardening folks, can anyone ID this for me? We found it growing rampant in a section of the old chicken barn where the storm last year ripped a section of the roof off. There's a lovely thick layer of manure in there and apparently when you add water and sunlight, this is what happens.

The tri-lobed leaves are easily 5 - 6" wide and the vine is quite vigorous. In all that aged manure, it certainly should be! It's well over 6' tall and is bearing some sort of fruit. The largest of these 'fruits' are about 2" long and 1 to 1 1/2" wide and seem to be slightly tomentose. They are all solid green. I didn't want to mess with it too much until I have an idea of what it might be, or possibly find out if it's toxic. My daughter, who has lived on an OK farm for nearly 20 years, says she has no idea. She's never seen it before, and I certainly never have either.

Can anyone help with the identification? Are we growing a 'crop' here, or is it a new form of the Jolly Green Giant's beanstalk?


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It looks like passiflora, or passion vine. If I'm correct in my ID, the fruits are not toxic. Their not great eating, but they're not toxic.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 7:28PM
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Okay, then I'm assuming that it would have had a fairly showy blossom also?
Since no-one was in the barn to see it, that isn't going to help much, but it brings up the question of whether it might be something we'd want to use anyplace else on the property where I'd have use for a vigorous vine..

I wonder where it came from? That barn has had nothing but chickens in it for at least the past 6 years, and probably a whole lot longer than that. Is the vine an annual, or a perennial? Do you know?


    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 7:47PM
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I use to grow one that I ordered from a nursery, It had much larger flowers on it than the ones that grow wild around here. The one I had did not produce any fruit (or seeds). I dug it up for a year or two and kept it inside but it got to be too much trouble.

There was a legend about the flower that went something like the ten peddles+ ten commends, crown of thorns, three nails and five wounds, all parts of the flower. That has been 25 years ago so I don't remember much about it. I think there is 200 or more kinds of them and the one I had was supposed to be from South America. I don't know if any of that was true, but it had large beautiful flowers anyway.


    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 9:52PM
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The native passiflora is a beautiful vine. I still can't decide if it is annual or perennial; it seems to pop up in random places from year to year. I may like it more than others because it brings back memories of growing up. :-)

Here is a link that might be useful: Passiflora at USDA

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 11:28PM
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Well, I love the taste of a very ripe passionfruit. They are seedy things and the trick is to smush them in your mouth and then spit out the seeds, but to me they bring back memories of childhood. The outer skin of the fruit has to turn tan and dry before they are ripe.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 12:01AM
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Do the fruits look like little tiny watermelon? If so, its the same cine I asked about earlier this spring. General consensus was it was too soon to be sure, but I should let it grow. Now I have a whole chain link fence covered in it. It's in a space that gets very little sunlight, has pretty poor soil, yet it grows like crazy. The neighbors have mean sounding dogs that have nipped me, so I can't remove it easily. So, its gonna stay & for now it covers a pretty ugly chain fence.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 12:05AM
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Yes, the fruits do actually look a bit like little, slightly furry watermelons. I did not get a chance to see it in bloom, since it was hiding inside the barn that we quit using when the roof blew off last year. I looked up the passion flower in my copy of Taylor's vines and it seems it may be the wild one that's called Maypop. The big 3-lobed leaves fit the description, but I'll have to find a better illustration to be sure.
Thanks for the help. My grandson's wife was afraid to go in the barn for fear it was something poisonous, like poison oak or sumac, and it has taken over a big area right behind the door, where you have to walk through it. I was able to tell her it isn't that, but then I wanted to find out what it really IS. It certainly does seem to like where it's living, that's for sure.


    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 1:49AM
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Lisa_H OK(7)

If it is passionvine, and it looks like it to me, although much huger leaves than mine have, it is a host plant for gulf fritillary butterflies.

Here is a link that might be useful: Maypop Vine

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 2:45PM
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I have a little over a doz. seeds of Passiflora Caerula seeds I ordered this year and never got around to planting them. If anyone would like to try them I will send you 6 or 8 seeds. I dont remember where I got them.


    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 4:48PM
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I'm certain that's what it is, and it's probably no surprise that the leaves are huge. After all, it's growing in about a foot of very well-aged chicken manure. From what I've read, it's a perennial vine. This is a very happy one.

No, we don't normally let our pens get into that condition, but it was a brooder roost for young pullets. It hadn't been cleaned for a while due to illness. When the wind took the roof off and about 30 birds with it, I just didn't have the energy or inclination to go clean out the pen. We moved the remainder to a safer pen and just left the old barn alone for the rest of the year. This spring, the sun and rain did its trick and we have a jolly green giant vine in there.

I'll let the fruits ripen and see what we think of them. I've never tasted one of them. It should be an interesting experiment.


    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 7:17PM
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