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Edible Mountain is a bite-sized, digital series from WVPB that showcases some of Appalachia’s overlooked and underappreciated products of the forest while highlighting their mostly forgotten uses.

EDIBLE MOUNTAIN - How To Make Passion Flower Infused Honey

EDIBLE MOUNTAIN - How To Make Passionflower infused honey
Barbara Volk
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The Appalachian region is one of the most bio diverse ecosystems on planet earth. There is so much to wonder at even when I take a short stroll in nature here.
When I come across the blossom of the passionflower
(Passifloraincarnata) no matter how many times I have seen it, I always stop and enjoy its extraordinary blossom. Some folks refer to this gorgeous, often-purple flowering plant as maypop. How can something this beautiful even exist? But here it is. If it’s in bloom, I’m almost never the only one there.

Bees are usually
having some sort of party basking in its sweet aroma, while on the
bottom side of the passionflower blossom ants are drinking its sticky nectar.
This while hummingbirds are most likely hovering around its twisted tendril vines.
he bees will literally fall asleep on the flower as they get their
fill.

Passionflower
Ella Jennings
A bumble bee making circles on an aromatic may pop.

This also works for people too. The flower of this fast-growing
perennial vine can be made into an infusion or a tincture and is
ingested to promote a calming effect before bed.

The plant can be used to treat anxiety as well. Researchers believe
passionflower works by increasing levels of a chemical called
gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. GABA lowers the activity of some brain cells, making you feel more relaxed.

There are more than 500 species in the Passiflora incarnata family all over the world. The purple passionflower is native here in West
Virginia.

We also have a less flamboyant species called yellow passionflower but it’s the purple maypop you will use to make the medicine.

It is hardy and easily cultivated for its fantastic sweet fruit, which
are tennis ball size and also "maypop" when you step on them.

Be warned if you plant it in your garden that it may take over. Its
roots run horizontal in all directions and its suckers "maypop" up in spots of your garden where you don't want. them.

In the wild it is found along forest edges, preferring full sunlight,
and will usually pop-up in May.

Watch Barbara Volk make passionflower-infused honey. Delicious!

EDIBLE MOUNTAIN - How to make Passion Flower Infused Honey


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