Flower of the Day: Yellow Passion Flower

Passiflora lutea; Passifloraceae (passionflower family)

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You know those bizarro passion flowers you see in floral arrangements?  We have a native version of those. Not nearly as large, colorful, or showy, but still it’s pretty neat that a plant from a mostly tropical family is found along the Potomac River.  I found it when searching for something else (of course). Took a little side trail towards the river, poked around, then on my way back I saw these.  I’ve since realized that a lot of flowers are hidden in this way: they face away from the trail (and shade) towards the sunlight and the river.

Yellow passionflower is found from Pennsylvania through Texas, though it’s endangered in Pennsylvania.  There are about 17 native species of Passiflora in the continental US, mostly in the extreme south (Texas, Arizona, Florida). Two are found in this area.  This is the northernmost occurring species in the genus.

Notice I’ve been posting a lot about vining plants lately?  This is another one. Grows to about fifteen feet. It’s that time of year.

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