Monday, September 19, 2016

Learning more about the maypop

I have recently learned more about the maypop. 
My first introduction to it was as a kid.  Mom showed us one that was growing near the edge of the garden where she usually kept a row of gladiolus.  She let us take the hen-egg-sized fruits and poke toothpick legs in them to make a little fat green pig.  (As frugal as we were even with small things like toothpicks made that seem like an indulgence.) 
I think Daddy was the one who told us he used to eat the fruits.  I think we might have tried to eat one of the green fruits.  I think we must have tried the pithy white part that is part of the skin, but we did not find it palatable at all.  Maybe Daddy told us we were supposed to wait until they turned yellowish, but I don't recall ever trying them again.
Recently I learned that the part you eat is the part around the seed (after the fruit has turned yellowish and started to wrinkle) like the part you eat in a pomegranate.  Recently on one of my walks, I saw a ripe fruit.  A week later, it was still there but starting to rot just a little.  I thought I might save some of the seeds.  I mashed the fruit with my walking stick.  I was surprised at the sweet fruity scent that was still there.  At that point the inside had a yucky consistency, too nasty to put in my pocket, so I crammed a little of the mess in the crack of the top of my walking stick.  I brought it home and put it on a newspaper to dry out.  I may try to plant the seeds next spring.
One thing I realized from looking at my pictures is what the bud looked like.  Really, the flower has such a remarkable form.

Here is a bloom and a green flower bud to the left of the bloom.
In this picture, you can see a bloom in the lower right corner that is starting to open up; you can still see the green calyx.
Here is the picture that clued me in as to what I was looking at; I could still see the green points that are such prominent features of the bud.
Hopefully one day I will get to taste a ripe one.

1 comment:

  1. I never knew that about the Maypop. Flower blossoms can be so intricate and beautiful.