Monday, May 3, 2010


When I first moved in, the upper garden was covered with Maypop, Passiflora incarnata. I'd never seen such an unusual flower before, and it took a little while to identify it. The flowers led to fruit, which I never had the nerve to try (since then I've gone so far as to sample dogwood fruit, but I was chicken back then). A pretty vine, but oh-so-aggressive. I think it outcompeted the ivy that also dominated the landscape. It definitely beat back the mint and oregano in the old herb garden.

I pulled it all out, but it came back. That plant will grow from just a piece of root. One spring dad and I dug up most of the upper garden and sifted through the soil to remove the root pieces. We didn't get them all, and every May I get a few sprouts. But I can handle a few sprouts of just about anything, and pull them like weeds. It might be nice to keep one, but I'm afraid one will lead to many, so I don't.

Like all the plants that know when it is spring, Maypop always knows when it is May. Specifically, when it is the First of May. Seriously, on April 30 there is no sign of it, then May 1, there it is! This year I forgot to look for it on the first (too busy with my rain barrel, I suppose), but on my garden walk this morning, before leaving on yet another trip, I saw it!

Just one so far. I didn't yank it out, because I know a Gardenwebber who might want it.

6/24/10 Maypop update: I had a whole colony growing around one of my melon plants. I dug them up and gave them away. I missed one growing up the rose of sharon. Now that it is fully entangled I'm just going to let it be for a while - it's been a few years since I saw those odd flowers. I'll probably regret letting the roots get so well established.

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