Ask an Expert: I have a passionflower vine that has started to produce an egg-shaped green fruit. Are these edible?
The passionflower or maypop (Passiflora incarnata) is a beautiful blooming vine that provides a food source for butterflies such as the Gulf fritillary—and yes, also for people. Generally, it takes about two years for vines to fruit, and September is the typical harvest month. You’ll know it’s ready to eat when the fruit turns orange and its skin wrinkles. The sweet and sour pulp will impart a tropical flavor to culinary treats such as jellies, juices, and desserts. You can also use a spoon to eat the pulp (and seeds) directly from the skin, which is not edible.
Dig It: What’s happening this month?
Native Plant Forum
The South Carolina Native Plant Society and Magnolia Plantation & Gardens partner on this special event. To join hourly lectures and guided walks through the Audubon Swamp Garden, guests must pay admission to Magnolia, but the plant sale and exhibit area is free. Magnolia Plantation & Gardens, 3550 Ashley River Rd. Saturday, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. $20; $10 ages six-12; free for child under six. magnoliaplantation.com
North Charleston Plant Swap
From perennials to tools and containers, swap garden goods with fellow green thumbs at this friendly gathering that culminates in a potluck picnic (bring a covered dish and your own drinks). Park Circle lawn (near the playground), North Charleston. Saturday, 10 a.m. set-up; 11 a.m. swap. Free. facebook.com/northcharlestonplantswap
Gardening Tip: It’s time to preserve your fresh herbs, such as basil, thyme, parsley, chives, and mint, plus lemon grass, verbena, and balm. Remove the leaves from the stems and pack them tightly in an ice-cube tray. Cover them with water and freeze. Later, transfer the cubes to freezer bags for easy access.