Our next multipurpose plant is the Passionflower or the Maypop. Native to the Southeastern United States, it’s hardy to ZERO degrees Fahrenheit. (That’s too cold for this white girl.)
The passionflower or the maypop has a exquisite an exotic bloom with a lemony scent. The flowers tend to attract bees, butterflies and humans. They also develop an edible fruit about the size of a chicken egg that has a taste like an apricot. This fruit can be used for jams and juices. Even the young leafy shoots are edible and can be chopped for salads, eaten raw or even cooked a “greens”.
It is a vining deciduous plant that fills an important niche. When trellised on a sunny side of a house, patio or greenhouse, they leaf out in the early summer just as it begins to get hot. The Passionflower or the Maypop creates a much needed shade for keeping the house, patio or greenhouse cool in the unbearable heat of summer.
If you are interested in a plant that attracts, birds and bees, has edible fruits, ideal for trellising, creating seasonal shade that has a bright exotic flower, then I would highly recommend the Passionflower or the Maypop.
On a side note: the Passionflower or the Maypop was traditionally used as a calming herb for seizures, hysteria and anxiety. Today it is still used as a remedy for anxiety and insomnia among other conditions. This is because it lowers the activity of some cells in the brain hence giving a person the feeling of relaxation.
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