Passion vine (Passiflora incarnata)

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People are always amazed to to learn that the tropical seeming passionvine is actually a naive to most of the eastern United States, including Texas! It seems to like to grow in shaded, moist forests with rich soils but still with prolonged periods of sun exposure. Such forests tend to have a creek or stream running through them, so that’s always a good place to start looking. The large, beautiful flowers start blooming right after the beginning of Summer, at the end of June. By mid to late July, you can start finding ripened fruit. Passionvines are great because they seem to continue to produce more flowers even after they’ve already produced fruit, meaning the season for passionfruit is rather longer than it would be otherwise! The high point for gathering them is in mid August, after that, the high heat and lack of rain tend to taper their blooms off.

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Needless to say, these are wonderful plants to have around your house and can be such a wonderful attractant for butterflies and honeybees, as well as songbirds and other wildlife! The vines can actually be rather aggressive growers, so not much care and maintenance is needed other than to keep them from over running your yard! To plant them, save some seeds from the fruit you eat and plant them directly into the ground where you’d like to see them the following year. Like most wild seeds, passionvine seeds need to over winter in order to germinate, so planting them immediately allows them to begin weathering without drying out in storage.

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