Most passionflowers are tropical plants but there is a hardy one that will grow in the North as high as Zone 6 (zone 5 with winter protection). It is exotic looking, fragrant (only lightly for me), and with an edible fruit. So last year I gave it a try and it grew well though none of the late arriving fruit matured.
This spring I had a clematis I really needed a place to plant and when the passionflower didn’t show up where it had grown last year I started coveting the spot. As another common name for it is Maypop I decided to give it until the 1st of June.
June 2nd I went out and took one last too quick of a look, saw no sign of life, so proceeded to toss on a bunch of compost and forked up the bed.
Alas, I turned up a long lateral root with shoots coming off of it. Upon closer inspection I could see that the first of the shoots had just that very day emerged and opened enough of a leaf so I could tell it was the passionflower.
Had I waited one more day even my dull senses would have seen the leaf, or if I had knelt down and given more than a cursory examination, I would have seen it had emerged.
I took the main root and put it in a corner of my gourd fenced in trellis as it is hard to turn the tiller there. I still had three roots with shoots that I potted up. I will give them a month or so to get established in the pots, then I will plant one out side the fence just to see if the deer eat it, and still have a couple to deal with.
Yesterday I was checking on my newly planted clematis and found about a dozen passionflowers robustly poking through the grass around the mulched clematis bed. As it was expensive to buy, I don’t want to just mow them down so anyone who wants to can come by and dig one up and take it home.
I don’t know if they would make garlands but will definitely make a nice offering flower and maybe once established set fruit early enough to ripe.
Anyway, don’t prematurely give up on your passionflower — it might have had delayed emergence due to extended cold spring or just open later here in the Northern edge of its hardiness.
To devotees the word passion has the nuance of the mode of passion. The varieties of experiences in the material world are are considered to various combinations of three primary modes — ignorance, passion, and goodness, just as all colors we see are combinations of the three primary colors.
The mode of ignorance is characterized by activities that benefit no one, like intoxication and laziness. The mode of passion means a high level of activity but with the motivation of benefiting oneself. The mode of goodness also is a high level of activity but with the motive of benefiting others or greater purposes.
In American English “passion” can mean lusty activity but when used in a phrase like “passion for life” means living with a full expression of the human experience or, as devotees would say, being enlivened.
We all have bad days or times and sometimes it seems all bleak and futile, but don’t give up on the passion for life, it is actually our constitutional position. The nature of the soul shed of the material illusion is sat-chit-ananda, which means to be full of knowledge and bliss — to be engulfed with the passion for life.
Don’t give up on it.