Passiflora incarnata

The passion flower quickly turned the garden into a steamy tropical jungle. The leaves, when tender, and the flowers can be tinctured and can have medicinal properties.

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October 24, 2018
08242018 passion FRUITS jungle
October 24, 2018 – Note the gojis growing below. The passion flower was indiscriminate in its choice of aerial support. I tried putting the pulp and seeds in my morning smoothie, but the seeds gave an unpleasant texture to the drink.

As fall advanced and the nights became chillier, the leaves lost their youthful blush but remained vigorous and productive. Below – the first and third photos show indigo bush (Amorpha fruticosa) being overtaken by the vine. The middle photo is the sturdier redbud (Cercis canadensis), nonetheless appearing a bit smothered.

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October 14, 2018
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October 14, 2018
10142018 passion chill
October 14, 2018 – these indigo bushes cannot stand up to these weighty ramblers.

The vines were still surviving by late October. I finally pulled them all and fed them to the chickens in November.

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October 24, 2018. It was a rich, sunny day when this photo was taken.

 

Legumes in flower

You will notice that the Astragalus canadensis (Canadian milkvetch) is conspicuously absent from this post on native legumes. Fear not, I am gearing up for a post all of their own, hopefully soon. Some did not make the winter, but most braved the brutal cold and lived to tell the tale. But that’s a story for another day.

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Thermopsis villosa. Blue Ridge buckbean, Carolina lupine, Aaron’s rod. Looking closely, the bud can be seen emerging from the tip of the stalk. This two-year old plant had at last ten budding stalks. Note the three-fingered leaf-hand to the left (and the smaller one to the right, alternate), extended as though to welcome the flower bud into the light of day.  May 8, 2018
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Amorpha fruticosa. False indigo bush. The leaves of this legume are less clover-like (or trifoliate), and more like the black locust (odd-pinnately compound). May 8, 2018
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Amorpha fruticosa. Flowers from the growing tip of the woody stalk. May 8, 2018.
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Just a few days later, Amorpha fruticosa in flower. Appreciated by some species of bumble bee. the pollen-bearing stamens, yellow, emerge from deep violet flowers, giving each inflorescence an iridescent sheen. May 11, 2018.

Amorpha fruticosa

April 22. Indigo bush. A native legume that grows taller every year. Note the last inch or so of the growing tip (apical meristem) died, and so a new growing tip has emerged. We have about 25 of this species growing in the garden, and all have exhibited the same response. I suspect it is due to the cold winter and the false spring in February.

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Note the Amorpha to the left, has not produced leaf buds yet. This may be a survival trait of the species – some emerge early from dormancy, and others emerge later, in case a final late frost hits.

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I will aim to post more photos of this amazing plant later. I’ve top-dressed with a compost to stimulate abundant seed production. We shall see.