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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Passion flower

You may be asking yourself why I m so excited about passionflower or pasiflora incarnata or as some people call it maypop.  I try to grow fruits, vegetables, and herbs that we use as a family.  Passion Flower is an herb that we make tea out of to use for insomnia.

Two years ago I used money I had received for my birthday to buy a passionflower plant from the nearby nursery in hopes that it would make it through the winter.....just in case the books were lying to me.  I payed $13 for this lovely plant that vined, bloomed, and grew well all summer, then shriveled up and died come winter.  I waited patiently in the spring in hopes that it would spring up from the earth but to no avail.  I resigned myself to the fact I would have to purchase this herb from a vendor.

Last summer after we moved I was walking in the pasture when my eyes fell upon a vine that I was pretty sure was passionflower.  Once I had found that vine, I noticed that it grew everywhere down here.  My sons dug up a couple of the vines for me to plant near the house to naturalize.  I was excited to say the least.  As fall came the vines yellowed, withered up, and died even with me watering and caring for them.  I consoled myself with the fact that if they were going to die on me at least I could gather some from the fields.

When mid-summer arrived the passionflower vines that I had planted near the house burst forth from the ground.  It has been flowering for a couple of weeks now, isn't it pretty?  The spent flowers go on to produce passionfruit that is edible.  I understand that this fruit is high in potassium, lycopene, beta-carotene, fiber, and vitamin C.  It is reported to be good for people with high blood pressure. I have never tried it but am hoping that we get a chance this fall.  When we try it out, I will let you know how it tastes.

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