Saturday, August 30, 2008

Passionflower

You might recognize this, but when I saw it I stopped in my tracks like Boz does when there's something he must smell.

When I got home I searched for it on the web. It's Passiflora incarnata, otherwise known as Purple passionflower. It's easy to see why it got its name; it's beautiful enough to fall in love with.

This plant was growing around the base of a palm tree on a residential street. I want some in my yard. A site called Dave's Garden says Purple passionflower is "wild, invasive and virtually indestructible." That would be fine, the yard needs some work.

Wikipedia says the plant is used to treat anxiety and sleeplessness. I'm off to buy some today. Yesterday I invited a few friends to join me for tea at a place we hadn't tried, and...well read about it at Miss Havisham's place if you can bear it.

25 comments:

Islipian said...

beautiful shot - passion flowers always look wonderfully outer-space-y to me!

Trish said...

$35 a PIECE? yikes...didn't they...uhm, have prices listed BEFORE you ordered? CA law, afterall!

I'd have asked for a payment FROM them to endure such slop!

the flower is beautiful, as usual!

Miss Havisham said...

*slop*

You've captured one of the most exquisitely designed flower. Nature is a genius.

I was reading about
passionflower tea, and it's medicinal powers should be used with caution if a person is on any other medications--sometimes they react with each other.

Also, skullcap,and cavacava provide treatment for depression for some, but these herbs react badly to traditional anti-depressants like
Prozac.

Susan C said...

We have a passiflora vine growing in our front yard. I've tried adding the vine and flowers to fresh bouquets, but they wilt almost immediately when cut.

USelaine said...

Gorgeous! How did it think to become so complicated?

Laurie said...

It's great to mix with hops and valerian for a nerve tonic and relaxant. If you drink it as a tea, add chamomile because it's not as sweet as you might think. You can find passionflower tea at Whole Foods. I wouldn't have any idea how to harvest or brew it but I've bought it a lot already prepared.

Isn't it otherworldly? I love it, too.

pasadenaadjacent said...

It's possible to kill it...I did. I planted it, I lived to regret it, then I killed it and replaced it with a red variety. I enjoy the old style Passion Flowers, but NIMBY.
Come visit, I've gone political in a kind of "what do they mean by that" way.

JM said...

The distribution of the passion flower different organs is amazing!
Dave's garden is a very good site! I usually go there very often! :-)

Sherry said...

Oh, I had a white one and it died. Didn't make the first winter. They like heat. This is beautiful. Have you seen the red ones, wow, such lovely colors available..Is this a large vine I'm wondering?

Petrea said...

Islipian, I thought the same thing. Outerspacey.

Trish, it was probably on the website but I didn't inquire. I assumed. Never assume if you don't want to anger Miss Havisham. The food was bad and we were shocked - SHOCKED - when we saw the bill.

Miss H, I like that: "Nature is a genius."

Susan C, see comments by PasadenaAdjacent and JM.

usE, see "Nature is a genius" by Miss Havisham.

Otherworldly. Laurie, that's like outerspacey, only with more sophisticated connotations. Depends on the rest of the landscaping.

Sherry, are you too far north maybe? It's hot and dry here now. Some things are dying but some are flourishing. I haven't seen the red or white ones. This vine was thickly hugging the tree up to about four feet high.

marley said...

Graet photo. Did you stop and smell it? The scent is so sweet.

Virginia said...

Just a beautiful shot. Late summer flowers are great. Now I'm off to read what everyone is chatting about!

altadenahiker said...

Lucky we didn't order that on the side. That would have been another 50 bucks.

USelaine said...

It makes a colorful Dreamlines subject.

http://solaas.com.ar/dreamlines/

Bernie K. said...

Ah, flowers, the impresarios of nature—the flaming Vegas chorines of agriculture! They live and die for our delight, and suffer the agon of too-brief a time onstage.

They rise late, their stems still tender from the previous show. But the garden is restive: the sun strikes the wall like a spotlight. The flowers shake off the dew, dab pollen under their pistils—then flinch at a knock at their garden door: "Five minutes, everybody!" They adjust their lamé, totter up to the grassy stage, check the house and SPRING into the light—a perfumed swirl of stamen and style, a whirlwind of sepal and anther. Their petals are glorious headdresses, gauzy and risqué; the breeze flutters their leaves provocatively …

And then the customers come swarming, in their yellow-&-black stripes, buzzing & fumbling, ready to sip the nectar again. And the flowers love it. They were born to perform. Never mind that, once the crowds have gone, they live a lonely, brief life. For now, the mumbling, muttering marks paw at theem, clamber over their tender parts, groping and sniffing …

After the crowds have thinnned, there is only the dim melancholy of the garden. The great spotlight in the sky goes dark and the streets are blind with nighttime traffic. The flowers sag into their garden crannies. The moon rises; the garden’s hidden paths rustle, like the alleys around Caesars Palace, with the shadows of predators: possums with knives; skunks with turned-up collars.

The flowers are alone, bereft in their secret bowers. Their splendid colors fade; they bow their anorectic throats … at last they lose their headdresses: petals flutter to the dressing-room floor. Dew gathers in the cold and seep, like tears, from the flowers’ bare corollae. “Born to perform,” they sigh, and night claims them.

And in the wee hours, one lost bee, drunk on honeydew, stumbles down the moonlit lane, humming to himself of the spectacles beheld in that fetid wonderland …

Katie said...

Stunning photo! I have these flowers in my neighborhood and, shame on me, I had no clue what they were called until I was going through my postcard collection and found one with the supposed "Legend of the Passion-flower". Looks like you had a fabulous tea with ladies! What a fun group; and yummy looking food.

Inkster1 said...

I took the same photo when Katonah Daily Photo was in Amsterdam in June I'd put in a link, but I don't know how to! Thanks for the info!

altadenahiker said...

Oh, I think someone should give Bernie K some chane. Rare substance -- Miss H seems to know what that is. Or maybe PA? I think he needs it before heading to the underpass.

Katie said...

I guess an addendum is in order, now that I've read Miss Havisham's post instead of just looking at the photos (oops). It still looks like you're having fun, but although you made the food look yummy in the photos, I guess that wasn't the case to eat it (or pay for it). What a drag!!

Bernie K. said...

It's an overpass, thank you. Truckers carry more change.

Petrea said...

Bernie, I love it when you wax poetical. I'm glad you don't have a blog. I could never compete.

Inkster, that's cool to think the flower grows in such varied places! Here's how to make a pretty link (except this never works when I try, but here goes):
the words you want

Use the above, but take out ALL the spaces EXCEPT the one after the first a. I keep the whole string in a document and copy/paste it when I need it.

Katie. Yes. The company was fabulous. The rest of it was a shock. AND they only took cash or checks. A warning would have been nice.

Petrea said...

Marley, I didn't smell it! I was too busy taking the picture. I have to go back.

Christie said...

Beautiful flower! Didn't God do a great job designing some amazing stuff?

Miss Havisham said...

1) It's too bad these lovelies don't hold up floral arrangements. They would look stunning amid bright red stalks of ginger.

2) I am totally adicted to uselaine's linkage to Dreamlines. A thousand webs are spinning.

3) Bernie k. IS a fine writer.

Petrea said...

Ooh, Miss H, I totally missed Elaine's dreamlines link. Wowee dowzer, we used to say, way back when.

Yes, I like it when Bernie waxes all fancy and poetical here with the big words and metaphors.