Passion Flowers

My passion flower vine is finally blooming, and its even loviler than I would have expected.

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For those in my own religious tradition, Christianity, the Passion Flower is a potent symbol:

In the 15th and 16th centuries, Spanish Christian missionaries adopted the unique physical structures of this plant, particularly the numbers of its various flower parts, as symbols of the last days of Jesus and especially his crucifixion:

* The pointed tips of the leaves were taken to represent the Holy Lance.
* The tendrils represent the whips used in the flagellation of Christ.
* The ten petals and sepals represent the ten faithful apostles (less St. Peter the denier and Judas Iscariot the betrayer).
* The flower’s radial filaments, which can number more than a hundred and vary from flower to flower, represent the crown of thorns.
* The chalice-shaped ovary with its receptacle represents a hammer or the Holy Grail
* The 3 stigmata represent the 3 nails and the 5 anthers below them the 5 wounds (four by the nails and one by the lance).
* The blue and white colours of many species’ flowers represent Heaven and Purity.

quoted from the blog “The Sign of the Cross

 

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Passion Flower Symbolism

 

In addition, me and the kids have made a discovery, the existence of a whole army of “Gulf fritillary ” caterpillars.  Apparently these little orange and purple beauties only feed on Passion Flowers.  I’ve never seen them before and it was a nice surprise to have them show up on our vine.

The image to the left is of one that we caught and were surprised by it having turned into a cocoon by the next day.  It will be fun to watch it emerge as a butterfly.  We’ve found quite a bit more on the vines, so the butterfly population should be booming soon.

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