The passionflower is an amazing flower. I saw them growing in the wild when I visited Central America a couple years ago. But I’ve been fascinated with them ever since I first saw them–although I don’t remember exactly when that was.
Each part of the flower symbolizes a part of the crucifixion story – the passion of the Christ. Five sepals and five petals refer to the ten faithful apostles (excluding Judas and Peter). Three stigma represent the three nails that held Christ to the cross, while five anthers represent his five sacred wounds. The tendrils of the flower are said to resemble the whips used in the flagellation, while the filaments, which can number in excess of a hundred depending on the flower, depict the crown of thorns. Pretty powerful symbolism!
In India, the flower’s structure represents the Divine Krishna at the center and the other parts of the flower represent other parts of a story that I don’t know well enough to explain. But you can read this for a description.
Here’s a painting of a mother and child that I painted many years ago that also has a passion flower in it.
This plant is also used medicinally. It is supposed to
- lower blood pressure
- reduce anxiety
- address symptoms of ADHD
- reduce insulin levels
- improve sleep
- reduce inflammation
- reduce hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause
And it tastes good, too.
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