Sunday, May 23, 2010

Passion Flowers

Passionflowers are the more complex looking Clematis vine of choice. Unlike Clematis, these can go on to produce Passion Fruit. The trouble is where am Passionflowers are annuals. I tried getting our native Passiflora incarnata, Maypop, established last year but it died. Some plants are self incomparable and have to pollinate with another passionflower, though it can be any variety even a clone of the same plant. Other plants are self compatable. I don't know which needs which, that's why I bought two.

Looks like it's 6 ants past the hour. Passionflowers in all their complexity try to be ant proof by coating the back of their flowers with sticky goo. Clearly it doesn't work for all ants, and twining vines tend to accidentally tough their own flowers essentially building a bridge for the ants to get across.

They go for the nectar and small amounts of extra floral sap laying around.

The culprit here is Tapinoma sessile, the odorous house ant. I have to say I see this ant on more flowers that are supposidly protected against ants more than any other. They're clearly skilled at getting around little hazards in the name of food.