Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Spring emerges

We've experienced an unusually warm and dry winter this year, even by Texas standards. So it comes as no surprise that the yard is waking up (actually, this started in mid-February to a degree, but who's counting?). The two plum trees are blossoming, and the pomegranate bushes are leafing out. Even the fig in the back yard has new leaves appearing. But it's the passion flowers that grab my attention.

Over the weekend, I discovered my little p. affinis had sent up a shoot nearly a foot long already.


Barely five feet away from it, a cluster of p. foetida var. gossypiifolia had sprouted and promised some aggressive growth. Clearing away dead vines from last season's sprawling vineage, I discovered several long vines that had never died back due to cold (I told you it was unusually warm this year) and had even started rooting from nodes along the vine. I took some of these and potted them up in hopes I'll have a bunch of little gossypiifolias to trade with other passion flower collectors in the coming months.


That completed, I headed over to the dog run fence to clean it off. My incarnata passion vines (aka Maypops) grow along here, as well as grapevines, coral honeysuckle and The Wife's morning glories (which I'm not a big fan of). I ripped down a bunch of these old, dead vines, and was surprised to find a green vine still alive, which hadn't died back over the winter like the rest. Go figure. I also discovered a 6" incarnata sprout coming up alongside a pear tree. While pulling up some of the dead vines, several feet of solid root came up as well. This I cut into sections and potted up as well. Some pieces were already showing signs of sprouting green shoots. More trade bait.


Elsewhere, I discovered tiny sprouts from my p. Inspiration hybrid, and in the front yard found four sizeable shoots of my p. Incense hybrid growing happily. My p. caerulea also proudly showed off dozens of flower buds that will likely start opening late next week.


Sadly, all is not sunshine and lollipops. After taking inventory of my potted plants, I realized I'd lost a distressing number of them. Two beautiful coriaceas, which had great varigration on the leaves, are no more. My potted lutea died off. My single triloba is gone, as are the two potted specimens of coccinea/miniata. I'd rooted several cuttings of the new hybrid Crimson Tears last fall. All gone now. This is exceptionally frustrating, as I had high hopes for all of those. Ah well, I suppose I can always trade for them again...

Now Playing: INXS Kick


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  2. Anonymous1:05 PM

    As wonderful as the passion flowers are, my attention is first snagged by the mention of pomegranate bushes. I've never heard of bushes, only pomegranate trees. Can you get fruit from them, or are they just decorative?

  3. They're actually the same thing, Beth. Pomegranates naturally grow as a large bush, but if you prune back the suckers from the base, you can train it into a tree form. I'm too lazy for that, so we have bushes.

    One produces fruit, although it never seems to fully ripen. The other, sadly, is a double-bloomed ornamental type. Idiot at the nursery told me they were both "Wonderful" varieties, which is the top commercial fruit producers. Didn't know what he was talking about, obviously.

  4. Anonymous4:06 PM

    Thank you for the info. A fruit- producing plant that looks like a tree but is really a bush - that is the perfect solution for a problem I was having in my novel. (I might need to make up a fruit though, since pomegranates come loaded with so much symbolism.)

  5. Well, to bring my horticultural obsession into this, there's a genus of passion vines that form trees...