Passiflora (Passion Flower; Passion Vine; Maypop)
Passiflora is a large genus of more than 500 species of vines, shrubs and trees, in the family Passifloraceae. The vast majority are found in Central and South America.
These unusual flowers have complex and unique structures, from a shallow saucer shape to a long cylindrical or trumpet-shaped tube.
Passiflora, also known as Passion Flower, is so exotic and different from any other flower you may have seen!
In the 15th and 16th centuries, Roman Catholic priests named it for the Passion (suffering and death) of Jesus Christ.
They believed that several parts of the plant symbolized features of the Passion.
In Christian traditions, “the Passion” means the final period of Jesus Christs life, including his crucifixion.
Passiflora is a symbol of passion.
Interesting facts about Passiflora:
Passiflora gained its name due to the great imagination and devotion of the Christian missionaries which associated most morphological characters of the plant to symbols of the Passion of Christ.
The symbolic use was to help people understand the Passion of Christ and the Crucifixion.
The five petals and five sepals represent the 10 apostles who remained faithful to Jesus throughout the Passion (excluding St. Peter the denier and Judas Iscariot the betrayer).
The 3 stigmata represent the 3 nails and the 5 anthers below them the 5 wounds.
The corona represents the crown of thorns.
The ovary, a chalice shaped structure, represents the Holy Grail.
The whipping and scourging of Christ is represented by the tendrils.
The fragrance of the flower represents the spices prepared by the Holy women.
Passiflora plants are important as ornamentals, while others are grown for their round or elongated edible fruits.
Some species have medicinal benefits and can help treat boils, wounds, earaches, liver problems, anxiety and insomnia.
For many years, people used this plant as a herbal sedative, stress reducer and sleep aid.