Giant Granadilla

Passiflora quadrangularis, the Giant Granadilla, produces huge red flowers that are almost 5 inches across and delicious, football sized fruits. The Giant Granadilla is a square vine that can grow up to 50 feet in length. The links immediately below will open a new window on eBay with full details about the Passiflora quadrangularis seeds for sale.

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Passion Flowers by John Vanderplank

Passion Flowers by John Vanderplank is a fantastic reference book about passion vines. Vanderplank's passiflora book is considered a writing about passion vines and it is loaded with beautiful images of passion flowers in their natural habitat.

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Passiflora: Passionflowers of the World

Passiflora: Passionflowers of the World is a definitive reference guide to passion vines by Torsten Ulmer and John MacDougal. This book is full of beautiful photographs of passion flowers and is considered by many to be the ultimate book about Passion Vines.

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Passion Flower in Medical History

The medical history of Passion Flowers includes the Maypop used by Native Americans to make tea infusions to treat insomnia, hysteria and epilepsy. The Maracuja species in South and Central America were used for medical purposes as well. In modern times, the Passion Flower continues to be used for cooking and baking desserts. It is also used for creating juices and alcoholic beverages that contain a tropical essence. Aside from these uses, the Passion Flower is used today for as an herbal medicine to treat sleep disorders, anxiety and other pains such as headaches.

The Passion Fruit of the plant is now a commercial good and one of the major species, Maracuja, is cultivated in the Caribbean, Florida and South Africa. The Maracuja comes as either a small purple fruit or a larger golden yellow fruit.

Over the course of its history, the Passion Flower has been cultivated in non-native regions as well as native regions due to the popularity of the Passion fruit in a number of ethnic cuisines as well as the health benefits and medical purposes that people can take advantage of from the fruit as well as the plant. The Passion Flower has an old and fascinating history that can continue to be researched to uncover the many aspects of its use and cultural traditions.

Passion Flower in Art History

In art historical terms, the Passion Flower has appeared in many prints and paintings, including the mysterious painting of Madonna and Child by Joos van Cleve. Flowers in painting have been used for symbolism for many years and understanding what a flower means will give clues to what a painting portrays. The inclusion of a Passion Flower in this Madonna and Child painting refers to the Crucifixion and the Passion of Christ story in which the Virgin Mary shed all her tears. It is also a symbol of the purity of the Christian faith.

This painting was not the first record of the Passion Flower in art. The Moche culture of northern Peru has portrayed the plant and its fruit on ceramic-ware in reference to the banana Passion Flower.

Passion Flower in Medical History

Passion Flower Religious Symbolism

Catholic missionaries connected certain aspects of the flower with Christian beliefs. Generally, various characteristics of the Passion Flower have been tied to the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ as well as the Passion of Christ. The latter association led the missionaries to name the flowers “Passion Flowers.”

A number of floral characteristics have been assigned with distinct symbolic traits. For example, the ten petals of the flower represent the ten apostles in Christianity excluding St. Peter and Judas. The vines of the plant symbolize the whips that were used during the flagellation of Christ. One of the major characteristics is the hundreds of filaments on the flower that symbolize the Crown of Thorns. The five anthers are associated with the five sacred wounds of Christ. The flower contains three stigmas that reflect the three nails that were used for Christ’s hands and feet during his Crucifixion. There is a floral component that resembles a chalice-like ovary that has been suggested to symbolize the Holy Grail. In terms of color symbolism, the flowers of Passion Vines are generally a blue and white color which can represent the heavens and purity.

The religious symbolism and associations that have been brought to attention once gave the missionaries faith and comfort for their efforts in spreading Christianity to the indigenous cultures of South America. The Jesuit Missionaries transported color drawings and dried version of the plant back to their country where a Spanish herbalist named Nicolas Monardes was the first to document the plant and write about the qualities of the flower, indicating that it is a powerful plant and that it carries a symbolic relationship with Christianity. In the New World, the Passion Flower became recognized as a mystical one with certain powers.

Passion Flower in Art History

Passion Flowers in History

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.

Passion Flower Religious Symbolism