Apr 9, 2013

Passionflower – does it have any special significance?

Spanish friars of the 16th century first gave the name to this flower. They saw in the form of the passionflower (Passiflora) a representation of the passion in Christ. The flowers have five petals and five sepals, which symbolize the 10 faithful apostles present at the crucifixion. The corona of five filaments was thought to resemble Christ's crown of thorns. The five stamens represented the five wounds in Christ's body, and the three stigmas stood for the nails driven into his hands and feet. Most species of passionflower are native to the tropical areas of the Western Hemisphere. (The Handy Science Answer Book, compiled by the Science and Technology department of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh)