Kristi CookOne of my favorite outdoor activities is foraging the fields and woods for Nature's herbs and edibles. My mom was the first to introduce me to the wild foods Nature has to offer, and I am so glad she did. One of my childhood favorites was the tiny little blackberries growing wild around our home. They made the best tasting jelly!

And now decades later, I'm still hunting the tall grasses and woods to find new surprises to enjoy. One of my recent favorites has been the passionflower, both for its delicately sweet fruits and its highly useful ability to aide a good night's sleep.


Better known by many as a "maypop," these gorgeous vines aren't hard to find. Just grab your hiking boots and scout pastures, overgrown ditches, roadsides, even untended yards (with permission, of course). The long, non-woody, perennial vines may be spotted clinging to fences, posts, old barns, even small trees and bushes.

One of my best passionflower spots tends to be in tall grass at the end of our property. Some years I find it wrapping its tendrils around the tall fescue, other years it sprawls along the ground, weaving itself amongst the clumps of grass. You really never know just where maypops will "pop" up. But once you find some, be sure to mark them so you can find them throughout the season.

Once you have your secret stash, keep an eye on it. Beautiful, frilly white and purple flowers begin to appear around June and continue through September in most regions. Each pollinated flower's ovaries quickly develop into egg-shaped, green fruits around 2" long, dangling from the vine like lanterns. Over time, the fruits change from dark, tree frog green to a lighter green, at times maturing into yellow or orange.

7/13/2018 8:26:51 AM

Kristi, thank you for sharing your knowledge about the passion flower plant. I haven't ever seen a passion flower plant in Nebraska. It looks to me like it could be one of those plants that could be a bit too invasive for me to plant. Many of those wild aggressive plants are edible but I really wouldn't plant them in my garden. The plant that grows in Nebraska along the roadways is mostly elder berries. I've seen asparagus along old railroad beds. ***** As farms become bigger and bigger in Nebraska the derelict home place usually has rhubarb, asparagus, and a run down orchard. They are a great place to forage. With permission of course. ***** Have a great passion flower day. ***** Nebraska Dave

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