The Passion Flower- One of Tennessee’s Most Beautiful Wildflowers

The May-Pop, or Passion Flower is one of the most exotic of our native wildflowers. My first day in Nashville, in September 1981 I saw a blue-tailed skink, a pink crape-myrtle, and a passion flower in the field across from my house, and I knew I was not in New England anymore. The fruit, the may-pop, is reported to be orange. And edible. But I have never seen one anything but green. I did visit a house in West Nashville once where the owner so loved the flower that she trained it up the side of her house.

When I had a suburban garden, passion flower appeared from nowhere, as so many native plants do. Their seeds wait, and wait. And when the time and the moon and the rain are right they appear. Their roots resist transplanting however, and if you want want one you will have to coax it from seed.

I once grew a lemon yellow tropical passiflora called “Citrina”. It was not hardy, which is how I lost it. I bought it from Aloha Tropicals, which offers many tempting varieties for conservatory or pot. Wine colored. Purple. Scarlet.

Lovely, but not as lovely as our own lowly May-pop.



About talesofanashvillegardener

Professional gardener, Experimental Cook. Constant Reader
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