The Passion Flower
We’ve had Passion Flowers growing in our garden for quite a number of years. They are beautiful flowers, one of my favourites in the garden. But this year I thought we’d lost the shrub that had continued to spring up every year, year after year. I thought it had been strangled by the other shrubs growing around the area — I hadn’t been able to trim them up last cutting season, so they were all a bit overgrown.
Today I was trying to tidy things up a little. And right at the back of another bush, there was some Passion Flower growing through. Just one piece had grown up the back of the bush, and when it got to the top spread itself out, until it covered quite a large area on the Berberis. There were a couple of flowers in full bloom. Although they were completely inaccessible — so the picture I’ve used here comes from where I find many of the images I use on the blog: stock.xchng, a very useful site.
When I see a Passion Flower, I often think of the story that goes with it. I first read the story in a hand-written book that came from an elderly aunt. But I’ll copy a piece here from the BBC’s h2g2 site — which is similar to Wikipedia.
The Passion Flower
Unusually for such a story it has a well-documented and undisputed origin. Jacomo Bosio, a scholar, lived in Rome in 1609. He was working on a treatise upon the crucifixion when an Augustinian friar of Mexican birth showed him drawings of a remarkable flower. After much prevarication (and a rather liberal interpretation of the facts) he agreed to include the drawings of the flower in his book. The symbols of the Passion of Christ were many and varied. The unique corona represented the crown of thorns. The ten sepals and petals represented the Apostles (except Judas and Peter, who both distanced themselves from Christ prior to the crucifixion). The five anthers were the five wounds on Christ’s body, and the three stigmas the nails. The leaves were the spear that pierced His side, and the tendrils the scourges that flayed His flesh.
Clicking on the image below will take you to a larger picture: