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Purple Passionflower

Purple passionflower

Passiflora incarnata

Do I love, love, love this vine. And I am so proud that something this ridiculously showy could be native to Texas. It has proven to me that wildflowers don’t have to be rustic (and I do like rustic).

After my failures with the Passionflower ‘Incense’, which was repeatedly chomped on by caterpillars, I decided to try another type. This is definitely the more frequently-grown kind, and the showier. Passionflower incense–i.e., passiflora edulis–has smaller leaves, and smaller flowers which are pale purple whose petals sort of fly backwards, rather than splay out. Passionflower incarnata, however, takes over with just a little bit of sunshine.

Seriously, I did not water this plant for 3 months of its first summer, other than the first week it was planted. And did it grow, covering about a 25-foot long fence and starting to climb up our barn. I’m hoping beyond hope that it doesn’t turn into another aggressive vine like trumpet vines, which I’m desperately trying to get rid of and yes, have resorted now to chemical warfare, since the roots go down at least 2 feet and despite Pilates and all my Detroit strength, cannot get down there.

However, I don’t think I’d mind as much if this popped up somewhere else. It it just too pretty to miss, and its effortless care makes one feel rewarded for all the work of keeping things alive in Texas.

And do butterflies love it, and bees, and anything that flies, really. It’s a banquet feast. And for whatever reason, it appears only one or two leaves here and there got eaten… I did see a few Gulf Fritillaries around it but maybe they were lured off to my Passiflora Incense to lay their eggs (which as I write has 2 leaves on it… is still alive, so maybe I’ll keep it on as bait!)