Thursday, April 5, 2012

Passion Flower

One of our most exotic native American flowers  is often considered 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. This flower is so extraordinarily beautiful that one can understand why the early Spanish explorers and Christian missionaries were overcome by its glory, so much so that they endowed its intricate structure with all the symbolism that has now become an accepted part of the legend of the Passion Flower.   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; each stamen resembles the cross and the arrangement of the stamens together is in the form of the cross.  The central column or style represents the pillar to which Christ was bound for the scourging and the many tendrils of this climbing plant are the whips and cords.  The leaves are referred to as spear shaped. The double corona of 72 purple filaments which form an exquisite fringe within the flower are representative of the crown of thorns. The vigorous growing strong vine is compared to the Gospel and 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 - we are lucky to be able to grow a variety of this plant in our garden!


Antiques And Teacups said...

Wonderful! My aunt had a vine growing on her backyard fence and I spent hours enthralled. They don't grow here in the Pacific Northwest! Your post brought back some wonderful memories! Happy Easter!

Marilyn said...

Actually they do grow in the Pacific Northwest. A friend has one that just takes over on her pergola. We use to have one when we had a community garden plot, but have not planted one at this house where we live. They are quite pretty, thanks!

Angela McRae said...

Mercy, I sure never knew all that about the passion flower! Thanks for the fascinating information!