Passion Flower, "Lavendar Lady"
Photo © Kerry Michaels
I’m so pleased. After weeks of waiting, my passion flower is blooming. It is grand and weird – kind of like a clematis from Mars. I’m just loving it. The flowers only last for about a day, but they sure are spectacular.
You can see a video, taken over the course of an afternoon, of a passion flower unfurling into a fantastic blossom. Talk about otherworldly.
It turns out that passion flowers are pollinated, not only by bees, but hummingbirds and butterflies as well. Butterflies need all the help they can get as their habitats are increasingly destroyed and they fall prey to the widespread spraying of pesticides.
Butterfly World is leading a campaign to have people in North America and Canada to grow butterfly gardens. They have an online guidebook that will tell you what kind of butterflies you can find in your area and what you can put in your garden to host butterfly caterpillars and what plants will provide nectar to feed butterflies.
Planting a butterfly friendly container would be a great way to introduce a child to butterfly ecology and a passion flower is a great plant to start with.