Plant World

Flowers and Unusual Plants

What special significance does the passionflower have?

Spanish friars of the sixteenth century first gave the name to this flower. They saw in the form of the passionflower (Passiflora) a representation of the passion of Christ: the flowers have five petals and five sepals, which was thought to symbolize the ten faithful apostles present at the crucifixion; the corona of five filaments was believed 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.


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