Roadsides are very interesting places before the brush cutters go by. They provide a break in the forest canopy for wildflowers to grow in the sunlight. Often these flowers are rare anyplace other than along one side or the other of a road.
My camera and I wander along our road close to once a week from spring into fall. The road cuts its way through small bluff rocks into a creek bottom over a couple of hills fronting glades ending up down by the upper Maremac River.
A few years ago I happened across a vine draped down from a tree. It had small green flowers on it so I stopped to get a better look.
Growing up in southern California my father grew many plants only dreamed about in the Ozarks. One was a passion fruit.
The flowers were colorful affairs with deep pink petals lying flat with white fringe lying over them and three dark purple pistils lying over this. Later orange fruits would hang down from the trellis.
Inside this orange fruit were many seeds covered with reddish purple sacks filled with juice. They were convenient snacks all summer.
These greenish flowers I had come across were the same flowers in miniature in pale green and white. I took a few pictures.
There are indeed two passion flowers native in Missouri. One is a colorful large flower often called a maypop. It doesn’t grow in the central Ozarks and I’ve never seen it around here.
This tiny version is the yellow passion flower although it is usually more green in color. It grows on a long vine draped across shrubs and trees.
I went back to take another look. And couldn’t find it.
Every year I’ve watched along that section of road and never seen it again.
This year I found several of the vines. Only one passion flower was in bloom but other buds will bloom soon.
This year I know where to find these yellow passion flowers again. I think.