Water-saving Native Plant of The Week by Bob Dailey: Wild Passionflower
THE WOODLANDS, TX -- Water-saving Native Plant of The Week by Bob Dailey: Wild Passionflower (Passiflora edula - formerly P. incarnata). "Wild Passion Flower" or "Maypop" is a perennial vine, native to much of the USA, and is Tennessee's state flower. The flowers are 2 inches across, with purplish-pink crowns. The vine is a herbaceous perennial and can grow to 20 feet. It likes full sun but is not fussy about soil. It blooms from late June to September. The plant's native habitat is from sandy thickets to edges of woods and streams. It attracts butterflies both as a nectar source and as a food source for caterpillars. It is the sole food source for the Gulf Fritillary Butterfly larvae (Agraulis vanillae). The fruit is edible (rich in vitamin C) and produces a good jelly. This vine is self-sterile; hence it needs two or more for pollination. By the way, the carpenter bee getting ready to pollinate is, I believe, Xylocopa sonorina, the Valley Carpenter Bee or Hawaiian Carpenter Bee. This is a species of carpenter bee found from western Texas to northern California, and the eastern Pacific islands. Females are black, while males are golden-brown with green eyes. This photo was taken in The Woodlands.