A Passion For Flowers

Located around our campus there grows two different varieties of passionflower or passion vine, yellow (passiflora lutea) and purple (Passiflora incarnata). The yellow variety is a small, more delicate plant than the purple variety. Although the flower is structurally similar it is smaller and less ornate. The leaves are three lobed as in the purple passionflower vine but with little or no sinus separating the lobes. The flowers on the purple variety are about three inches across whereas the yellowRead 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

A Little Break from the Turtles and Bluebirds

Although Passion Vine (Passsiflora incarnata), or Maypops, grows readily in our area it is not always as obvious as you might think having such a showy flower. It doesn’t seem to climb as well as Trumpet Vine or Coral Honeysuckle and is often found sprawling on the ground or across and through other vegataion, hiding it from view. Maypops plays host to several tropical species of butterfly which, unfortunately for us here in North Carolina, occur mainly in Florida. TheRead more


Thistle is in bloom just to the right of the “Seed Tower” in Catch the Wind. Passion Flower, or Maypops as it’s sometimes called, is blooming as well. I’ve only seen Passion Flower in bloom in one location on the Explore the Wild/Catch the Wind Loop and that is on the Wetlands side of the path directly in front of the Lotus (the Lotus is nearly all “shower heads” at this time – seed heads). Passion Flower is the hostRead more