Thursday, September 18, 2008
In Bloom in the Garden - Passion Flower
Whoo Hoo! We are so excited to finally have a happy and perennial passion flower in our garden. It has taken us several tries in several different locations but our efforts have been rewarded.
It is native to the Americas and the early Spanish explorers were overcome by its glory. Our native American Indians used the passion flower as a nerve tonic and sedative, one that is remarkably effective. For centuries it has been used for insomnia, neuralgia and epilepsy.
The fruit of the passion flower, passion fruit, is being used in more and more beverages. While our passion flower has several large fruit on it, I am not sure they will ripen in time for us to try and use them.
This exotic native is also a world wide symbol of Christ's Passion. Emblematic of faith and piety, the mystical Passion Flower repeats the drama of Easter in its stunning waxen blossom. for example: the five petals and five sepals are said to represent the ten apostles (excluding Judas and Peter, the doubtful one), the three parted leaves symbolize the Holy Trinity, the three stigmas are said to look like the three nails and on and on the symbolism continues. The double corona of 72 purple filaments which form an exquisite fringe within the flower are representative of the crown of thorns. Of course the lavender and purple colors of the passion flowers are the colors traditionally associated with Lent and Easter.
Gorgeous, Medicinal, Edible, and Symbolic - what a joy it is to have this herb in our garden!