Passion flower glows in early morning light and shade
This Passion Vine (Passiflora vitifolia) grows along fences, over shrubs and garages here in South Florida. The leaves are glossy green and grape-leaf like. But what will simply knock your socks off are its dramatic, outrageous flowers! Surely they come from another planet! But no, they come from South America.
Legend and romance surround the passion flower... legend because of historical associations with Christianity. And romance because of its suggestion of romantic passion. Early explorers and missionaries to the Southern hemisphere named these dramatic vines Passiflora or Passion Flower to help in their conversion of native Americans to Christianity. They used the beautiful intricate flower parts to tell the story of the death of Jesus, making the story more memorable to listeners. The family name, Passifloraceae, means "Flower of the Passion" or "Flower of the Cross."
The color symbolized the blood shed on the cross; the 10 petals and sepals represented the 10 apostles present of the crucifixion; the 5 stamens, the 5 wounds, the 3 styles, the 3 nails ( or, in some versions, Christ and the 2 thieves crucified with him); the vine tendrils, the ropes and scourges; the 3 secondary leaf bracts, the holy trinity. The flower is usually open 3 days representing the 3 years of Christ's ministry on Earth. Source: Florida's Fabulous Flowers, Their Stories by Winston Williams.
See my sets Tantalizing Flowers and Blossoms and Passionate Passion Vines for more images of this amazing exotic, erotic flower.
Biscayne Park FL