Tuesday, October 06, 2009


This has not been a good year for my passion flower hobby. The drought took its toll. The relentless heat wave took its toll. There were times, I confess, that in my carelessness I over-watered, and that took a toll as well. And then there were the caterpillars who stripped down not only my Incense and caerulea vines, but also consumed several more rare plants I had potted up, a trauma from which said smaller passis never recovered. The long and short of it is that I lost a bunch of plants this year, when my goal had been to replenish my collection to make up for those lost last year. Included among the casualties are my vitifolia, my Lady Margaret and my beloved p. tenuilobas and p. mexicanas. I just couldn't catch a break. Even trades for new plants fell flat, with cuttings refusing to root for me. My frustration is not insignificant.

So imagine my utter surprise and delight this weekend when I discover my p. edulis flavicarpa blooming. It's only done so once before, and I'd been considering whether I should pull it out of its pot to make way for something more willing to flower. The sneaky thing had grown up all through my pomegranate bush and begun flowering--I count a dozen or more buds--on the sly. Many more flowers are set to open. It's an attractive flower, with white petals and a panda-looking purple-black center. It also has a sweet licorice scent. Now, I don't like licorice, but this is a pleasant odor, soft and mellow, not sharp and astringent like that of anise. I've tried pollinating it with my incarnata flowers--some of the few passis that have survived the summer for me--so we'll see soon whether or not it will produce fruit for me. Here's a pic:


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