Jungle Journal: The Vines

Just like the alt rock group of the same name, the real superstars of my garden right now are like one hit wonders, making a scene and disappearing at first frost. 
(See side note at the bottom of the post to see what happened to The Vines)  The passionflowers are notorious for being short lived, often needing to be replanted after a few years as they begin to lose vigor.  My passiflora "incense" isn't even pictured today, as its already declining after one amazing year in my garden, but passiflora alatocaerulea is taking off with several booms at a time on the same plant.

Passiflora alatocaerulea blooming over my alocasia "california"

I simply can't get enough of the waxy petals, intricate structure and amazing smell of these passionflowers.  Lucky for me, the incredibly humid air seems to carry the scent aloft across the garden so that I smell sweetness from the moment I pull up in the driveway.  Perhaps the crape myrtles have something to do with the effect, as they do smell more strongly than I realized in years past.

To the right is my passionfruit (passiflora edulis) that I started from seed last fall.  As many of you know, it defied the odds survived the cold of winter, enduring several nights of 20 degrees and still keeping green growth above the ground.  The other seedlings from the same fruit perished, but for some reason this one proved to be more cold resistant.

I will definitely be collecting seeds if it fruits and taking cuttings before winter just in case so that I can preserve this trait.  Hopefully I'll find another passionfruit for sale before it flowers, if only so I have another plant in bloom for pollination... Does anyone know where I can find one in the Seminole county area?

Its still pretty small, but fertilizing it seems to have really done the trick, as its put out a vigorous flush of growth and is finally exhibiting the lobed leaves that you see on mature plants.  Wish me luck!

My lucky sea bean, entada gigas is reaching for the sky!

Also, my sea bean is really taking off and is currently seeking a relationship with a tall and supportive tree. 

A while back I referenced www.seaheart.com and its excellent page about the life cycle of a sea heart. I even got a little silly and referred to the guy in the photos as a "hippie", for which I'm now ashamed.  I happened to see a recent photo of Spencer Pratt with a lot of facial hair and was still laughing about it while writing the post, much to the detriment of the post and my integrity. 

You see, I'm always reading Kyna's hilarious posts and wishing that I could infuse more humor into my blog, as I'm quite the jokester in real life (really!), but going off topic is really not consistent with my goals for this blog anyways.  (I guess every blog has its purpose, and I hope that mine provides information and inspiration for growing tropicals whether in the tropics or out.) 

 Oh, my gloriosa and lantana are blooming too.

(Side note:  Well actually "The Vines" faded from attention for reasons other than the temperature, unless you count the Billboard Heat Seekers chart.  Remember jangly lo-fi favorites like "The Hives" and "The White Stripes"?  At least they started a welcome trend of creating music that wasn't overproduced in the meantime, though by listening to the garbage on the radio you would think that modern rock is dead.  Interesting side note within a side note:  The Vines' lead singer Craig Nicholls was actually diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, a high functioning form of autism.  There you have it, the largest diversion thus far on my blog.)



  1. Some fabulous photos of the passion flower and the gloriosa and lantana. They make we swoon...they are so beautiful.

  2. I love the passion vine and it loves the sun!! But our catepillars just eat it up here...the payoff is a beautiful butterfly, but the vine looks terrible. Do you get fruit on yours at all?

  3. Susan: Thanks! They are pretty cool plants

    rohrerbot: Not on this one, as its sterile. I'm going to try and use it to pollinate my other passionflowers for fruit though.

  4. My sister had one of her beloved passionvines die inexplicably last year. I told her it was probably eaten by caterpillars (which were present), but surely it would have rebounded pretty quickly if that were it. I had no clue passionvines were short-lived. I'll have to let her know. Of course, I shouldn't be giving out advice, as I hate vines just because they are vines. I do love that gloriosa, though! (The only vine I intentionally grow.) I have that very cultivar--'Carsonii.'

  5. That is a lovely Passiflora. Unfortunately for me, the Passiflora that grows here is the noxious weed we lovingly refer to as Stinking Passionfruit! Beautiful flowers ... but it just pops up everywhere and very sneakily too. Before long it takes over half a Eucalyptus tree ... and it never seems to die off!!!

    Lantana is another noxious weed around here ... there's mounds of it out in the bushland and while it certainly looks terrific when it's covered in flowers ... it chokes out all the native species that should be growing there. We spend lots of time and money trying to eradicate it from the area around our property.

    It's amazing how plants that are so well-behaved in some areas of the world, are such thugs in other parts!!

  6. Your gloriosa is so different colorwise from mine! I like the color of yours! Mine are all orange. Lov eyuour passionvine...always gorgeous, they are!!!

    WTG, Craig Nicholls...I salute you! Rock on!

  7. Your gloriosa and lantana colours are so different than what I have seen here. I am sure they are really pretty in your garden and always blooming :-D

  8. Seeing the flowers on your passionvine is very rewarding. Mine were vigorous last year and had many fragrant blooms (incarnata.) But, this year the Gulf Frits ate them to the ground as soon as they were 1 foot tall. Everytime they sprouted back up (always in another spot of course) the butterflies would find them so no flowers for me this year.

    Love your gloriosa. That's one I don't have in my own garden. Everytime I see it on your blog I enjoy it. And the sea bean! What fun to watch it grow.

  9. I have never had luck with Passion Vines,tho I have tried numerous times.Much as I adore them,I finally gave up on the thought we would ever have a relationship.

  10. gorgeous everything - passion flower, gloriosa...

    I enjoyed the rock diversion too. :) yeah, radio isn't so interesting these days. I miss the days of living near Providence, RI and having college radio in tune.

  11. Steve, I adore vines! I don't have enough space for all of them that I want to grow. It's a crying shame, I tell you!! However, I had no idea that passion vines are shortlived..I'll have to remember that! Mine is still young, but I'll keep an eye on it.

    Rock, in it's true form, seems to be dead. Some of the screamo crap that's out really makes me want to scream just like the devil too. Honestly...really?! And what happened to the unbelievably great guitar solos? Even people with no musical appreciation had to bow to that talent! It's a sad era in the musical realm.

  12. Floridagirl:
    So thats the cultivar of gloriosa! It was just labeled as gloriosa rothschildsiana or whatever but it didn't look much like it. I looked up "carsonii" and it looks just like it!

    You know, the kind i have pictured is actually a sterile hybrid and doesn't produce seeds. That's bad for me but good for you, I suppose. Of course the worst exotics in south Florida are "Australian Pines" so I know what you mean.

    Julie and Stephanie:
    I found out from Floridagirl that its a different cultivar! I thought they were just stunted or something.

    I found a big fritillary cat on my lady margaret passionvine but I'm letting it stay. Theres enough for everyone!

    Chris C
    Thats interesting that they don't work out for you! I will say that mine do great even in the wettest soil, so maybe they needed more water. I couldn't tell ya.

    Yeah, I grew up with college radio so I guess I was lucky. Glad you like the flowers!

    Ugh, I hate screamo. I also can't stand almost anything on the "modern rock" station, as its all a bunch of overdramatic whining. Thanks for identifying.

  13. Your passiflora is so beautiful. I've tried growing them from seed here and I can't even get a seed to germinate.

    I guess I'll have to make due with drooling over pictures of your plant.

  14. mr brown thumb

    I simply ate a passionfruit, spitting the seeds out on a paper towel and buried it. They sprouted in about a week! From what I can tell, it helps that they're fresh.
    The one blooming is supposedly sterile.

  15. Resurrecting your old post:
    What happened with the sea bean vine? Mine just sprouted and I'm desperate to know what will happen! Will it take over the yard (and should I therefore keep it in a pot)? Will it become a tree instead?
    Our passion flower vines are immortal.


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