Native Range: Mid Atlantic and Southeastern United States, Pennsylvania
Ecological Value: Nectar source for butterflies and bees. Larval host for the variegated fritillary butterfly
Human Value: Native Americans used the Passionflower for food and medicine. Captain John Smith reported that it was grown for its fruit near Jamestown. The fruit can be eaten raw, juiced, or boiled to make syrup. Young shoots and leaves were eaten as greens.
Ecological Value: Nectar plant for beneficial insects. Birds enjoy berries.
Human Value: Berries are eaten fresh or cooked. Leaves can be used for tea.
We grow three varieties of raspberry: two red and one yellow. The first two years, the raspberries did exceptionally well, but in 2019 and 2020, they struggled. As a rule, I don’t water our garden once plants are established. It is possible that the dry summers of the last two years have stressed the canes. Last year, the yarrow growing with them seemed like it might be out competing them, so I have kept it in check in 2020. Nevertheless, many canes have turned brown over the summer. Once the Corona virus pandemic passes, I plan to have the soil retested and see if an imbalance is contributing to our raspberries’ troubles.
Ecological Value: Larval host for fritillary butterflies. Nectar source for insects.
Human Value: Flowers and young leaves are edible. The leaves may be eaten in salads or added to soup to thicken it like okra. Flowers can also be used in salads or candied. Both leaves and flowers can be used for tea.