About Me
My Photo
Annie in Austin
Welcome! As "Annie in Austin" I blog about gardening in Austin, TX with occasional looks back at our former gardens in Illinois. My husband Philo & I also make videos - some use garden images as background for my original songs, some capture Austin events & sometimes we share videos of birds in our garden. Come talk about gardens, movies, music, genealogy and Austin at the Transplantable Rose and listen to my original songs on YouTube. For an overview read Three Gardens, Twenty Years. Unless noted, these words and photos are my copyrighted work.
View my complete profile

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

High Wire Act

[More 'Incense' passionflowers opened on Monday afternoon. Check the previous post - Aw, Nuts - to see why the photos didn't get up until now.]

The strands of the passion vine [planted at the far right of the bed], and of the Dolichos lablab/Hyacinth vine [planted at the far left of the border] had both outgrown the fence by August, so Philo helped me tie some twine for them to grow on. The twine reaches from a board about 5-feet high at the fence across to branches at the nine-foot level on a nearby magenta crepe myrtle.

Unless you look closely, you might think a hyacinth bean is producing passionflowers - the vines and foliage have become intertwined, but only the passionflower is blooming. I hope the bean catches up so that these two rather odd flowers will be open at the same time, resembling gaudily dressed performers twirling from the high wire at Circus~Circus.


  1. I planted an 'Incense' last week, so I hope to have a few flowers like these alien-looking beauties before fall. Thanks for posting the pics!

  2. Lovely! many here grow these plants, though not these specific cultivars, so I am determined to try.

  3. Wow...very iridescent color! They really look nice!

  4. It will be fun to have both vines flowering together. I love your circus theme. I'm now thinking where I could put a passion flower vine as it looks like I can find one that is hardy enough for these parts.

    Carol at May Dreams Gardens.

  5. Wow those flowers are breathtaking. Do they smell nice?

  6. What beautiful flowers! Your vine sounds happy - some of the passion vines can get pretty invasive here, but I don't care - butterflies love them and I love them - this one has such beautiful colors.

  7. Annie, these blooms may be sparse but they make up for it with IMPACT! Absolutely goreous!! My favorite color too. I'm going to enjoy catching up with your blogs, especially the giant trim job...you done good!

  8. They're beautiful. The Circus theme is fitting for draping color!

  9. Hyacinth Bean - isn't that one of those BBC comedies?

  10. Oh, this is just TOO lovely, Annie; I'm having a little Austin-envy because I could grow passion vine here--indoors! But that's the beauty of reading bloggers from elsewhere--it's a real joy to me to see your plants.

  11. What a cool flower! Funny how we get sidetracked outdoors...you think you're just going to do one small task, then suddenly you're in the thick of it. I bet it's a lot of fun growing things in Texas that you could never grow in the midwest!

  12. I hope you can get closeups of the passionflowers. They look pretty stunning and would look be very interesting next to lablab beans.

    The obvious question is why do they call them "incense" passionflowers. Do they have a scent?

  13. Lovely flowers Annie, I love the colour especially. I grow my passion flower indoors in my conservatory (raised from seed) although there are varieties that can be grown outside here in the Netherlands too. Does yours bear fruit?

  14. Hi Pam/Digging - I am beginning to doubt that this passionflower, lovely as it is, should be called 'Incense" - bet you got the right one!

    Hello EAL, good luck! Find that microclimate!

    That's a good word for them, Leslie - they do look iridescent.

    Carol a few hyacinth beans are opening today about 12-feet up in the air - nowhere near the passionvine, darn it. Is the native Maypop hardy for you?

    Hi Katie - I have a hard time resisting purple! No scent that I can detect.

    This plant was small and non-blooming with a thread-like vine for a couple of years, Pam, so I'm kind of inclined to let it do whatever it wants this year!

    Bev, the day after I put up the photo there were 9 flowers open at once. That was the peak, I guess!

    I don't know how far the circus theme can go, Mary, but this seemed like a natural.

    Ha, ha Bill... somehow difficult to think of Mrs Bucket in the same sentence with Passion, though!

    Jodi, it works both ways, because you also grow things we can only read about!

    Hello Lisa - it does seem like that! We never get caught up, do we?

    When Philo was first offered a job in TX, being able to grow zone 8/9 plants was definitely in the plus column!

    Ki, when they first opened I was so thrilled to finally see a flower that I didn't recheck photos of the cultivar. This one does not look like the photos of 'Incense' on Tom Spencer's site, and I think my plant was mismarked.

    But it doesn't look like the photos of other cultivars either. I like it anyway!

    YolandaElizabet, the combination of blue and purple gets me, too! I see no sign of fruit, although there have been dozens of flowers by now. Back in Illinois a passionvine grown as an annual in a hanging basket surprised me with a fruit. Just one.

    Thank you - maybe I'll discover the ID some day.


  15. Interesting to combine the Passiflora with the Dolichos. Great idea. (My Hyacinth beans are EXPLODING now. Blooms and pods everywhere.)

    Looking at those blooms, I'm curious about my own 'Incense'. I've not seen the ten sepals (representing the ten faithful apostles) thrown back as yours do. At least, I'd not seen it on 'Incense' (I'd seen it some others - I'm up to five variants (cultivars/species) now). I'm sure there is a "botanical" way to decribe "all the way open" presentation but I don't know it. My 'Incense' only opens like this: A Little Passion on the Patio.

    So... I'm wondering if I have something else? Or if you have something else? I'm not certain of the provenance of my purples. Unlike others, they came from swapped cuttings. (I was ASSURED that these were 'incense' but we all know about THAT.) So I'm probably the one mistaken. I don't question your gardening knowledge, Annie. I suppose my question is more accurately: how sure of the provenence of yours are you? OR do you think they could be the same?

    Apparently, I have no idea what I'm growing!

    Also, there is an interesting article Passion flowers - a vine flower found as several varieties: includes sources in Flower & Garden Magazine, Sept-Oct, 1997 by Tovah Martin. Meaty. But no pics.

    Beautiful garden.

  16. Clerk Hank, as I told Ki and Pam/Digging in the comments above, my plant appears to have been mismarked. It doesn't look right for 'Incense'. Although I bought it several years ago, I didn't realize the flowers didn't match the photos because I didn't see flowers... the vine and buds were devoured by Gulf Frittilary caterpillars in previous summers.

    I've found a few sites and am looking for an ID. More photos in progress, too.


  17. What a great idea to add a high-wire act to Circus-Circus. It is quite wonderful seeing passionflowers growing outdoors, when mine reside in pots ... they'd much rather be outside since they grow incredibly outside during the summer months. I like growing Hyacinth Bean vine, so I can say, 'Dolichos lab-lab' and make rhymes up for it.

  18. Hi, Annie. I've never seen a blog like yours before. It's making me want to write about plants and growing things... x

  19. Wow Annie, That's gorgeous! I never think I can grow some of the beauties you have in your garden but if EAL thinks she can, I may try as well. Love the high wire act!

  20. Uh, oh - I was sure I'd posted an answer to these comments a few days ago -what happened??

    - Hi Fiona,

    Thank you for coming and commenting - you're a real singer songwriter instead of just an amateur like me - congratulations on your album! If you start a garden blog, be sure to let me know where to find it!

    Country Girl - I think you can grow the Maypop passionvine, especially if you know where your microclimates are located and you take advantage of the extra warmth.

    Good luck!



A comment from you is like chocolate - maybe I could live without it, but life is more fun with it. I'll try to answer. If someone else's comment piques your interest, please feel free to talk among yourselves.