PURPLE PASSION VINE -"MAYPOP"
Turn your Shabby Chic Garden into a marvel for your senses! Enjoy every minute as this intensely scented flower with its petals of deep purple and lavender shades reaches for the Heavens on its fast growing vine set against deep green foliage. Between July and October your Passion Vine will also produce the famous "Passion Fruit!" A sweet oval fruit (smaller than a lemon) which will turn dark purple and fall from the vine when ripe. Used across the world both commercially and in private homes as a source of drink and sweet-fruit.
A Little History: Fleur de Passiflore (Flower of Passion)
Peru, 1856. Spanish explorer's came across this fascinating vine and believed its intricate flower held all the signs and markings of Jesus last days, known as The Christ Passion. Believing this find to be a 'good omen' the flower emboldened the Spaniards, who had all but decided to give up and go home, to instead press forward with their exploration and, as we all know, the eventual conquest of the mighty Aztec Nation.
Thereafter, the word "passion" became associated with this species also known by many as MayPop or May-Pop (an early bloomer that 'Pops open in May').
What the Spanish saw:
- The pointed tips of the leaves were taken to represent the Holy Lance.
- The tendrils represent the whips used in the flagellation of Christ.
- The ten petals and sepals represent the ten faithful apostles (excluding St. Peter the denier and Judas Iscariot the betrayer).
- The flower's radial filaments, which can number more than a hundred and vary from flower to flower, represent the crown of thorns.
- The chalice-shaped ovary with its receptacle represents a hammer or the Holy Grail
- The 3 stigmas represent the 3 nails and the 5 anthers below them the 5 wounds (four by the nails and one by the lance).
- The blue, purple and white colors of many species' flowers represent Heaven and Purity.
ZONES: 5-10 (all zones, especially 5, should keep 2" of mulch at the base of this plant all season). Moderate water. Well draining soil.
EARLY SOW: 6-8 WEEKS BEFORE LAST FROST.
- Soak seeds 24 hours in HOT water in a jar with a lid (water will cool down and doesn't have to stay hot).
- Fold inside moist paper towel, place in zip lock baggy and place by warm bright window until germinated.
- Plant 1/4 in good soil and cover pot with plastic or tent cover - set pot in a bright-warm 70 degree area. When two set of leaves appear, slowly remove plastic cover a tiny bit each day to allow seedlings to acclimate to the new atmosphere.
- Do the same when its time to move outside-just a few hours of protected outdoors per day, until it has no reactions to being outside. Plant in ground when soil is warm. If potted, overwinter inside.
- HINT: The larger and stronger your seedling is before planting (at least 12"), the faster it will take off and grow once planted.