Volunteer Fruits

Two weeks ago as my husband and I were walking around our property to see what kinds of plants are growing (remember, we moved 4 months ago, so we are learning what grows wild here), we notices an odd vine growing out front near the house. Neither of us recognized it, so, like so many other “weeds” we can’t identify, we decided to leave it alone and let it show us what it is. I’m glad we did.

Saturday we were examining plants and checking the immediate front and back yards for level areas- we bought a used above ground pool for the kids, and were trying to figure out where to set it up – We noticed that odd vine had flowers. Big, purple flowers that looked like they were inside out.

Isn't it beautiful? It looks like it's "inside out" to me.

Isn’t it beautiful? It looks like it’s “inside out” to me.

 

We examined the plant more closely and found  green oval, fruits a tad smaller than a baseball. Intrigued, we went inside to consult the Internet. After almost 30 minutes of searching my husband said, ” I think I’ve found it, have you ever heard of passion-flower?”

“Yeah, it’s a fruit. A fairly expensive fruit. I remember seeing it in the grocery stores when we lived in Arizona, but I’ve never eaten it.” I replied.

Well, it turns out that the mystery plant is passion-flower. Which just happens to be edible and medicinal.

Unripe passion fruit on the vine.

Unripe passion fruit on the vine.

The herbalist in me is excited. passion-flower leaves are used to ease insomnia, and  many different types of neurological complaints. The effects of passion-flower leaves include: sedative, antispasmodic, anodyne, and hypotensive.

A tincture of passion-flower leaves can be used to ease symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease, and epilepsy. They have a calming and sedative effect which makes the leaves helpful in cases of headache, anxiety, panic attacks, and  high blood pressure.

On top of that, the passion-flower is a nutritious and tasty addition to the daily food choices. Passion fruit is a good source of chromium, fiber, vegetable fat, magnesium, niacin, phosphorus, and potassium.

 

You can bet I’ll be keeping an eye on my passion-flower vines, and harvesting both the fruit and the leaves!

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Categories : Herbs

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