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.
The species range in size from dwarf to tall, and come in a wide variety of lovely colors. The 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, “Passion” means the final period of Jesus Christ’s life, including his crucifixion.
Passiflora symbolizes Passion of Jesus Christ and hope of life everlasting.
Interesting facts about Passiflora:
Passiflora in Christianity
Passiflora gained its name due to the great imagination and devotion of the Christian missionaries, who associated it with the Passion of Jesus Christ. The aim 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 means the 5 wounds of Jesus Christ.
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.
Benefits and Uses
Some species have medicinal benefits and can help treat boils, wounds, earaches, liver problems, anxiety and insomnia.
For many years, people have used this plant as a herbal sedative, stress reducer and sleep aid.
Passiflora is also used as a flavoring in food and beverages.
Some species are important as ornamentals, while others are grown for their round or elongated edible fruits.
Annuals, Climbers, Perennials, Shrubs, Trees
Though a wide range of colors exist, the most common are white, purple and blue.
Spring, Autumn, Summer
These plants range in size from 60 cm (2 ft) to 20 metres (65 ft), depending on variety.
Passiflora likes soil that is fertile, moist and well drained. Soil pH can be anywhere between 6.0 to 7.5.