The season is Lent and fittingly, my Passion Flower is blooming! In fact, it is prolific in blooms. I hope you are familiar with this beautiful plant and flower. If not, let me explain it to you.
I grew up with a Passion Flower blooming in the dining room bay window and then it was transplanted into the outside"Rabatt" or raised bed next to our brick home in the spring. It was always a beautiful memory of my childhood and when I found this plant in Florida, I knew I had to have it.
The legend of the Passion Flower is this: Five petals and five sepals are ten apostles leaving out Judas and Peter because he denied knowing Jesus. The purple corolla had seventy-two filaments, the number of thorns in Jesus's crown. The three pistil stigmas are nails. The five stamens are the number of wounds, so that to this day, Catholics in South and Central America call it "The Flower of the Five Wounds."
The leaf represents the spear that placed the wound in Jesus's side. The dark spots under the leaves are the 33 pieces of silver paid to Judas. When the flowers are spent after a single day (the time Jesus spent on the cross), the petals do not drop from the vine but re-close over the ovary. This symbolizes the Hidden Wisdom that constitutes the Mysteries of the Cross, and is like Jesus enclosed in the tomb.
It is a beautiful, climbing vine. If you have never seen it or not familiar with it, I hope you will research it. It gives off a delicate fragrance.