Two Exotics

Passion flower, or passion vine, is a fast growing vine native to the south east. It climbs, but doesn’t need to in order to bloom. I often find it sprawled along the ground hidden by the local weeds of the season, the flower peeking out from behind a mass of greenery. Its showy flower is edible. It’s visited by bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and songbirds. To my eye, passion flower looks primordial, otherworldly, certainly tropical. Actually, most species of passion vineRead more


  I noticed a partially eaten maypop on the ground as I walked past a passion flower vine in Catch the Wind. Except for the fruit high up on the vine, the maypops have been steadily disappearing from this vine. I didn’t know at the time whether people had been picking the fruit or local animals were filling up on the green ovate shaped passion fruit. I now suspect it was the local fauna. Curiously, this particular fruit, or maypop, was onlyRead more

Orchids, Trumpets, Passion Fruit, Sawflies, and Oakworms

Thanks to Richard Stickney (Butterfly House Conservatory) I was able to get a look at, and a few photos of, an orchid growing here at the Museum. Richard spotted the leaves of the orchid last winter and had been waiting for the flowers to appear. It’s now in bloom. The orchid is a crane-fly orchid (Tipularia discolor). These orchids show leaves on the forest floor in fall and winter. The leaves disappear as the flowers emerge the following summer. It’s not aRead more