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  • Writer's pictureMelanie Proctor

Why Passiflora Research?

Updated: Jun 22, 2023

When I started this venture, I (maybe unwisely) chose not to use my own name for the business.[1] Anything close to a tree reference was long gone. Other tree-based names belonged to plant nurseries, arborists, and others in the landscape industry. Then I started thinking about gardens.

I love gardening. It’s relaxing, satisfying, and a good workout.[2] I am by no means an expert gardener. I choose plants according to what I like, and what I hope will grow in the area where they will be planted. Sometimes, it doesn’t work out. Lesson learned. Other times, plants take off, like this borage which self-sows and is rapidly spreading in its area of the garden.[3]

I also love growing our own food. We’ve had the most success with tomatoes and herbs, but years ago, I planted a Passiflora edulis and it thrived.[4] Within a year, we had fruit that I used for crème brûlée. Last summer, I planted a vine that quickly grew to over twenty feet, winding this way and that way up and along the fence. Hopefully, we’ll see flowers emerge this summer.

As I thought about my gardening attempts, those Passiflora vines stood out. They start with a single trunk, and tendrils emerge at various points along the way, creating new branches. There is also a huge variety of Passiflora species.[5] Kind of like families, which come in all forms.

My family history ranges from Eastern Europe, to England, Ireland, and Scotland, to New England, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky, and of course, California. Researching my own family lineage and lore presents a multitude of learning opportunities, some of which I’ll share in this space.

It’s never as simple as finding someone else’s family tree online and accepting it as fact. I bring my two decades of experience as an attorney to bear on genealogical research. Just like in the legal field, nothing should be accepted as fact unless it is supported by creditable evidence.[6] So, for example, as much as I would like to believe one of my ancestors links me both to Robert the Bruce and Davy Crockett, unless I find proof that her birth surname was Finley and that she was the daughter of Robert Finley (b. 1634, d. 1712, in Ireland) as suggested by online family trees, I can’t.

I could say I chose Passiflora Research because my husband and I served passionfruit cupcakes at our wedding, or we have a cat named Flora and another named Vine, or the acronym “PR” matches the first two letters of my last name. That’s all true, but not the reason. I chose Passiflora Research because I wanted a plant-based name, I love gardening, and the vine reminded me of families, growing in different directions but all emerging from a single base, wherever you mark that start.

This is where I start my new adventure. Welcome!

PS: The vine has produced three blossoms so far!

Passiflora actina "sea anemone passion flower"

[1] In my defense, “Proctor Research” does have a certain . . . medical sound. [2] Side note: I am on Team Oxford Comma. Grammerly ( : viewed 24 April 2023), “What Is the Oxford Comma (or Serial Comma)?,” rev. 19 April 2023. [3] Wikipedia ( : viewed 24 April 2023), “Borage,” rev. 13:25, 16 April 2023. I discovered borage when I planted an edible floral garden more than two decades ago. Bees love it, a double bonus. [4] Wikipedia ( : viewed 24 April 2023), “Passiflora edulis,” rev. 21:54, 11 March 2023. [5] Wikipedia ( : viewed 24 April 2023), “List of Passiflora species,” rev. 05:40, 19 January 2023. [6] Board for Certification of Genealogists, “Introduction to the First Edition,” Genealogy Standards, 2nd ed. (Nashville, Tenn.: Ancestry Imprint, Turner Publishing Co., 2021), xix.


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