Scientific name: Passiflora
- The passion flower, which has more than 500 different varieties, is native to South and Central America, tropical Australia and the Pacific islands.
- The passion flower grows mainly on vines, but there are some that grow on shrubs.
- Spanish missionaries gave the flower its name, likening the structure of the flower to elements of the story of the Passion of the Christ. The 10 petals and sepals represent the 10 apostles (not including Judas, the betrayer and Peter, the denier) and the corona symbolizing the crown of thorns worn by Jesus during his cruxification. The flower’s five anthers symbolize Jesus’ wounds; the three stigmas symbolize the nails of the cross. The tendrils represent the whips used by Jesus’ tormentors.
- The blue and white colours of the flowers represent Heaven and Purity.
- In Israel and Japan, the passion flower is known as”clock-flower.”
- The passion flower bears a deliciously juicy, pulpy fruit that is consumed by people from around the world. The purple passion fruit is grown commercially in the tropical regions of the world.
- The passion flower is a source of food for caterpillars and butterflies, which explains why they are often grown in butterfly farms.
- The large, brightly-coloured flower is pollinated by bees and hummingbirds.
- Some medications contain passion flower as an ingredient; the flower has been used traditionally to relieve anxiety, insomnia, pain, epilepsy and high blood pressure.