Origins of the Passion Flower
The Passion Flower plant originated in South America and is a tropical vine that enjoys a warm climate. Nine species of this plant have actually been found in the United States and some are found in Australia, Southern Asia, and even New Zealand.
Traditionally, the Passion Fruit was grown by the Maya and Aztecs for food as well as its sedative qualities, which may have been used for ritualistic purposes. The Native Americans in North America called this fruit “maracock” and used it as food and medicine.
The Passion Flower was discovered in the sixteenth century by Spanish explorers during the colonization period of Latin America and South America. These Spanish explorers were in Peru when they first came across the Passion Flower. The Catholic missionaries were significant figures in the quest for colonization in this region and these missionaries immediately recognized the symbolism that the flowers of the passion vine had.