Maypops Aka Passionflowers

Discussion in 'Science & Nature' started by Shirley Martin, Sep 27, 2016.

  1. Shirley Martin

    Shirley Martin Veteran Member
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    Ken, if this doesn't belong in Science & Nature, please move it.

    I have maypops growing around my goldfish pond. This morning, I noticed some caterpillars on the vines.

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    I Googled them. They are the caterpillars of Gulf Fritillary butterflies. They are one of only two caterpillars who feed on maypop plants. They feed on no other plants. Maypops contain a substance that is poisonous to other caterpillars.

    This is a bloom on the plant.


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    This is the fruit of the plant.


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    This one is beginning to ripen.


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    In the spring, bumblebees and other insects feast on the nectar.

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    I'm not sure but I think the birds feed on the fruits later on.

    The seeds inside are edible. I remember eating them when I was growing up. You put the seeds in your mouth and get the juice out of them then spit the seeds out. The juice has a sweet, nectar like taste. But you would have to eat an awful lot of them to get a tummy full. :DI Googled maypop recipes and found that you can make a tasty drink and jelly from them.
     
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  2. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    Have never seen or heard of them but they sure are pretty, @Shirley Martin.
     
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  3. Corie Henson

    Corie Henson Very Well-Known Member
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    Maypops, hmm, it looks like our native passion fruit that is green when not ripe and becomes a bit yellow-green when ripe unlike the imported passion fruit that is full yellow when ripe. And if that is the flower, I guess it is another variety of passion fruit. But those caterpillars may eat all the young leaves of the vine. That's what caterpillars do to our lemon plant. We have to check it every morning for caterpillars that eat the young leaves which prevents it to bear flowers. Sorry but we have to throw the caterpillars to the nearby vacant lot for we understand that they will turn into butterflies.
     
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  4. Sheldon Scott

    Sheldon Scott Very Well-Known Member
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    We have maypops growing wild on our property. I've never eaten them because they are usually gone before they get ripe.
     
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  5. Diane Lane

    Diane Lane Very Well-Known Member
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    Wow, those are gorgeous, and what an interesting post to read @Shirley Martin! I've never heard of maypops, but have definitely heard of passionflowers, and would love to have some here. It's amazing to me the variety of plants and flowers available on this earth and that specific birds and insects only eat/drink from one or two. I watched a show before on hummingbirds and it was fascinating how the beaks of certain ones have developed over the years to reach deep into specific flowers for the nectar.

    I just looked them up, and Burpees says Maypops are one of the hardiest forms of passionflowers. They are also offering a 20% off coupon if you buy them soon, and you can save additional money by using Ebates, FYI, in case anyone was interested in purchasing some.
     
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  6. Martin Alonzo

    Martin Alonzo Very Well-Known Member
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    Passion fruit.jpg In this country it is called Chinola and has a beautiful flower and delicious fruit but can be a real nuisance it is slowly overgrowing my house.
     
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  7. Diane Lane

    Diane Lane Very Well-Known Member
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    That looks so lush and private, though @Martin Alonzo, just the way I like it. I had so many plants in containers and also hanging pots at my ground floor (which I didn't like) apartment, that I could be sitting out on the patio, and if I was quiet, no one going by would know I was there. I would often sit out there reading or just pondering life, and enjoyed being hidden from view.
     
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  8. Martin Alonzo

    Martin Alonzo Very Well-Known Member
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    I like the privacy too but the misquotes love the plants too. I don’t know who will win.
     
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