Need help ID'ing flower, and some bugs :)

transplanted_in_tnJuly 28, 2009

Hope everyone's summer gardening is going well! Ours has been good so far - lots of berries, the corn is all harvested, more cucumbers than we know what to do with, etc. Just waiting on more okra, tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, zukes, cukes, pumpkins and melons. Oh, and more beans. Oh! Sunflower seeds, too! :)

Anyways, need some help identifying a flower (weed?) and a couple bugs. Below should be a link to the photobucket album (I hope). But if not, I'll try to describe:

Flowers - Purple, 'bout 2" in diameter, several (50 maybe?) thin petals, with a yellow center (looks like a firework, I guess). They grow on vines, and have tendrils that coil around things, similar to other stuff that likes to climb. It has a green fleshy fruit/seed pod that is spongy, and almost hollow inside.

Bugs - Hanging out on our sunflowers! Lots of bees of various kinds, but two that I don't recognize. The ones pictured are black, and look like scarabs / beetles. About an inch long on the big one, and they have really thick back legs. The other one (not pictured - plentiful usually, but camera shy it appears) is a light brown beetle. An inch or less long, and slender. Looks like a "click bug", but isn't. Stubborn, not aggressive - kinda have to really force them off the flower. They hang out on the flower part, the black ones hang out on the stems near the top.

The bugs / flowers aren't bothering anything, just kinda curious as to what they are... And there really is no better place to ask. :)

Thanks everyone!

-John

Flowers & bugs!

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irisaddict(6b/7 TN)

The flower is the state wildflower, The Passionflower, which is something like passiflora incarnata.

What kind of berries?

Evelyn

    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 7:50PM
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transplanted_in_tn

Thanks Evelyn! Looked it up and you nailed it.

It decided to grow behind our compost bin. Was hoping the fruit was something good to eat, but sounds like people use it for medicinal use, or as a jelly ingredient - neither are good for deep frying. ;)

As for berries, we grow strawberries, blackberries and raspberries. Our blueberry plants did not take last year. Maybe we'll try again next year. :)

Thanks again for replying!

-John

P.S. We're not TN natives, so forgive our lack of knowledge on the state flower status. ;)

    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 8:13PM
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Soeur(z6b TN)

Actually, the fruit of Passion Vine is highly edible -- you've just picked it too soon. Another common name for the vine is Wild Apricot, which should give you some idea of the general taste of the ripe fruit. When it's ripe the skin pales to a soft yellow green and the flesh will be quite soft. The ripe seeds inside will be dark.

The black bug might be a leaf footed bug. They suck sap, but don't seem to do too much damage in my garden, unlike their relative the squash bug, which pretty much destroys my squash plantings every year.

Marty

Here is a link that might be useful: Leaf Footed Bug

    Bookmark   August 1, 2009 at 9:58PM
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