Thursday, June 22, 2006

Passion Flower

When C thought he was helping out and watering the plants by leaving the sprinkler on to drown my roses and clematis (I think this was the last battle for the clematis and it is heading to a better place now) . I had no idea the sprinkler was left on. When C finally awoke and told me I jumped up and out the door to survey the damage. Any loose blooms on the roses were gone, a few leafs on the peonies, and clematis were completely water logged. Well if this did not open us to disease I thought. I was soaked by the time I reached the shut off, dripping and saddened. C bought me this passion flower plant as a truce, and a promise to not water the plants again.
I love the strange beauty to the passion flower.

"It is immortal, but keeps death within;
Nobody has ever seen the bloom of a greater flower,
And if you long to know its name,
As it resembles Jesus, the flower is Christ."- Flos Passions (Signor .F.B., In Jacomo Bosio, 1609)

The passion flower actually has no connotation of romance but instead of religious notion. The 'passion' of the passiflora is that of Passiontide (The last 2 weeks of Lent). When Jacomo Bosio was studying in Rome in the 17th century he was introduced to the drawing of this odd flower from Mexico, since nothing like it had been discovered in Europe he believed it to be unreal. After many confirmations of the flowers existence he believed that the flower represented the cross of cavalry, as well as past mysteries of the passion. The central colum represents the cross itself, and the corona gleaming from the base represented the plaited and twisted crown of thorns (there are 72 filaments, same number as thorns in Christ's crown) The filaments are slightly pink representing the beating that drew blood. The 3 stigmas topping the column represent the 3 nails driven into Christ's body. And 5 red blotches on the stamen were believed to be blood from his 5 wounds. Later , the story was to include the 10 outer petals to represent the 10 apostles present at crucifixion (Peter and Judas absent) And the 3 bracts were the trinity. The leaves are the hands of Jesus' prosecutors, and the tendrils are what bounds him.
In non Christian influenced cultures it has also been representing a clockface flower and most oddly a homosexual flower because it artistically represents the anus.
I think I will stick with Jacomo's depiction.

As a side note, I have discovered that my fairy roses are under nourished.. I put down some more compost, a few coffee grinds and some rose food. I hope that the blooms get fatter soon (I did not think this was a minature rose) SEE!! I jinxed myself, the moment I had said I always saw heartache with rose growers!!!

The legend of the Passiflora from Plant Discoveries, a botanists voyage through plant exploration, Sandra Knapp .

Bontanical Painting by


Blogger Naturegirl said...

It's always interesting to learn more about our beloved flowers. I admire the passion flower in stores but have never brought one home.The fairy rose...ahhh ..yes I have those mine pink too. Hope they are out in full bloom when I arrive home next in Arizona all I see is cactis and dessert!

3:16 p.m.  
Blogger Karen said...

Oh, Naturegirl was travelling in the desert too. It sure makes you hungry for the green of the garden again.

Your roses are beautiful. And that passionflower story was interesting.

We did a lot of watering when we got back -- nothing negatively affected, except the stachys are a bit flattened. Then of course it finally rained.

9:29 a.m.  

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