Sunday, May 6, 2012

PASSION FLOWER, MAYPOP, APRICOT VINE, MAY APPLE

After my blog post the other day about the unknown flower, which has since been identified by all you wonderful readers, I have been doing some online research and learned all sorts of fun facts.  Turns out this wild variation of Passion Flower, which later develops into a fruit, is closely related to the more common Passion Fruit (they are cousins).  It goes by a number of names when it grows wild: Wild Passionflower, Maypop, Apricot Vine, Mayapple, MollyPop, Maycock, Old Field Apricot, and White Sarsaparilla.  Who knew?



They bloom from May thru September, and then edible fruits emerge about two to three months after the flowers.  The fruit is sweet smelling, yellowish, and about the size of an egg when ready to eat and are pulpy and sweet inside.  They also "pop" when squeezed or stepped on, hence the "Maypop" name.

It is a perennial vine in the Southern US, and grows wild in these parts pretty much anywhere...on the side of the road, old railways, bridges, thickets and, apparently, unmowed farm pastures just outside of Houston, LOL!

I'm excited to discover these new things on the property that I didn't know were there.  Even more excited that it's something edible.  I'm sure if I deliberately tried to cultivate them, it would be an epic failure, ha.  The vines can be up to 20 feet long and are spread by underground roots.

Vintage Mayflower illustration, image courtesy of Wikipedia
Sometimes, it's Mother Nature that does it best.  I'll just mark where they are and check in from time to time and see how the fruits are doing.  It's too far from the water source on the farm to try to water it myself, though if we have another drought, I might be persuaded to carry some water to the main vine and try to baby it along...assuming of course I could ever even find where the main vine starts!  Thanks again to everyone who commented and taught me what this was, it's great to learn just one more little thing about the property.

13 comments:

Tonya @ My Cozy Little Farmhouse said...

I say you collect seeds and transplant the seeds to a trellised bed near your porch! (And you know for the sake of scientific experiment--feel free to send me some seeds, to determine if they can be cultivated-shem)

Tonya @ My Cozy Little Farmhouse said...

White Sarsaparilla? Do you think this was what the old timeys made Sarsaparilla drinks from? Very cool!

kymber said...

hello 1st man (and 2nd man, too!)...i just checked in at my blog and noticed you as a new follower. i love new followers especially ones who are doing similar things as we are - moving out in the country (in our case, the middle of nowhere), becoming more self-sufficient, living simpler lives, etc.

it looks like i have a lot of previous posts to read but i have skimmed through some and like what i see! i also like your tab "about our journey" - i think i might do something similar - it's a great idea. anyway, let me know if you would like us to add your blog to our blogroll, and if so, you can add ours to yours too. now i will go and click the follow button as you did on ours.

i will enjoy catching up on all of your adventures! cheers!

kymber

Anonymous said...

I recommend to try the juice, is absolutely delicious!! I'm glad you found out more information about this fruit that in my country grows to be a huge vine. I want to have a plant here in FLorida but hasn't been able to find one in the nursery I visit. I love your blog and your "adventures" in the country.Buena Suerte!

1st Man said...

Hello! Yes, I am a new follower of your blog. I really enjoy reading and I too will be catching up on YOUR adventures (looks like you are further ahead of where we are). I put you on the blogroll of course, I love helping to spread a little blog love around ha. A simpler life is always a good thing, even with the bumps in the road, right? Thanks again!!

1st Man said...

Yum, it sounds delicious! Hey, if I can ever figure out a way to propogate these, or get seeds or something, I'd be MORE than happy to share. Just check back from time to time and I'll post something if I ever get it to work. I'm all about sharing if I can!

Thank you for the kind words, and the good luck wishes!! Come back soon.

Anonymous said...

Can you make a jam or jelly with the fruit from this? Just curious as I am a newbie with canning and preserving. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I am a new reader and am just ADDICTED to your blog .... In any event, can't get blogger to let me follow
... So I shall Anon say this ... I bought the passion fruit exactly as your pics in seeds at a local rural king king or Walmart for 29 cents!!! So for everyone wanting seeds, RUN to the store :). Love your blog, I am garden virgin/Handy Helen/jack of all trades. This forum and discussion is so refreshing!! Wish me luck on my 20x30 foot garden stab in the dark!

1st Man said...

Yes, you can! I haven't DONE it of course, they aren't ripe yet, but I've read online that it can be made into jelly. If I can find a recipe, I'll come back and update this post with it, so check back. Thanks for stopping by!!

1st Man said...

Oh my gosh, how kind you are to say that. Not sure why blogger acts up sometime but no problem, just come back and visit! I try to post every day, at least once, and sometimes I post 2 or 3 times...29 cent seeds??? AWESOME! Walmart? I didn't know they had it, I'll have to check it out.

Good luck on your garden, please keep us posted, you can comment anytime, we love comments. Thanks again, you are very nice to comment.

Debra Piper said...

I remember finding these in the woods as a kid and eating them. I thought I was the only one who knew the secret of how good they are.

1st Man said...

Hi!! Thanks for commenting. They were delicious! Of course, we only scored three or four, the weather and/or animals claimed the rest. We've tried to find them each season since I posted this but it's pretty hit or miss. I'm hoping to find a bunch next Spring. Thanks for taking the time to comment!!

Florida?LetsGrowNow said...

Better be careful; in the right climate & conditions, this vine grows like kudzu (fast & relentless.) It will overthrow azaleas in a matter of months and is difficult to eradicate without rooting it out and even then I've seen it come back (just not as thick...)