Ellen beat me to the Passionflower blog post this year ! Can't imagine how crazy those Passiflora vines must grow on the warm and humid coast of Florida. SE Pennsylvania is on the way northern end of the growing spectrum for these beauties, with some having no luck at all, but I think it's safe to say after 3 years, mine is quite well established. Some may even call it invasive, but because I adore this herb in every way, I will simply call it 'exuberant' !
The vines pumped out quite a few maypops this year, however I rarely get to see one that's ripe let alone taste one. This is where the PA growing season falls short, I'm afraid. Not sure if the critters get them or if they just fall off the vine. This one is the size of a large lemon. They need to be soft and on the yellowish side to be sweet and edible.A basketful of vine tips was made into tincture last week. I must admit to it being one of my top three favorite herbs because of it's extremely mild sedative effect on the nervous system. When those circling to-do lists keep me from getting a good night's sleep, I reach for Passionflower. Those same unfinished lists will often be the source of muscle tension in my neck and shoulders, which passionflower gently helps to unwind. Yes, unwinding the wound up nervous system. A perfect description. Why this gentle, beautiful helper was ever removed from the U.S. National Formulary in the 30's is a mystery to me. Oh wait, it grows wild, in abundance, harbors no side effects and is mild enough for children to use...sounds like risky business. So very happy that mine is growing exuberant and appreciated in my garden.