Passiflora incarnata ‘Maypop‘ is a native of the United States of America winters over in the outdoors as far north as New England. Last year, vision of passion fruit creme caramel dancing in my head, I ordered yet another Maypop from Logee’s Greenhouse, in Connecticut.
Ir looked so vigorous on arrival I stuck into the vegge garden and forgot it. It was nowhere to be seen earlier this year.
Intensive planting made it possible for tomatoes, green pepper, beets, lovage, snow peas, pumpkins and beans to cover ever inch of the tilled space. I ordered the fourth or fifth Maypop and planted it in a half whisky barrel where it sulks and looks fit for killing. Imagine my surprise this afternoon, when I discovered a bedraggled Maypop flower among bean vines.
Jubilant, I told my daughter that I had finally succeeded in growing a maracuja vine, almost the same that grew wild in my native Brazil–the Brazilian variety of my childhood was Passiflora edulis, maracuja–and she remarked,
“Oh, I saw a weird flower there the other day.”
Such lack of enthusiasm can only be attributed to her paternal Norwegian DNA.
Passion flower vines are valued throughout the Americas for the calming effect its fruit juice has on type-A personalities. Washington Homeopathic Pharmacies, http://www.washingtongomeopathyworks.com/ –located in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, recommends Passiflora incarnata for insomnia. The fruit and root of both Maypop and Passiflora edulis contain passiflorine, an alkaloid alleged to act as a mild tranquilizer effective in the treatment of dysentery, neuralgia, sleeplessness and dysmenorrhoea, as well as a possible, repeat, possible reigniter of the male libido. Considering the needs of Baby Boomers, I could probably get rich selling the the stuff, but I suppose that practicing medicine without a license is an incarcerable offense.