Years ago I planted a Passiflora x ‘Incense’ which is a hybrid of Passiflora incarnata and Passiflora cinnicata. What I did not know at the time was how aggressive this plant is in Houston. While it has the most beautifully complex flowers I’ve ever seen, it is becoming a BIG problem in the garden. It has taken over all three Crape Myrtles (Lagerstroemia indica) on my driveway and is now moving around to the front of the house covering my azaleas (Azalea indica ‘Formosa’) and Indian Hawthorn (Rhaphiolepis indica ‘Clara’). Fortunately it dies back in winter, and I’ll have a chance to cut it back, but the seedlings are popping up all over the garden. Wish I had keep this one in a container from the start.
While doing some reading on this plant, I found that the Gulf Fritllary (Agraulis vanillae incarnata) butterfly uses it as a host plant. Perhaps that is why I’ve seen so many of these small orange and black butterflies in the garden this month. They are not much to look at from the back, mostly orange and black, but wait until you see the underside of the wings. That is where they shine.
While I know that I have to control the growth of the Passionflower, part of me wants to provide as much of a habitat for the butterflies as possible. They are so beautiful and elegant to watch. This one posed for a few photographs that really showed just how delicate and intricate they are.
I love the vibrant color and detail on not only the wings, but the body and head too.