Thanks to some birds or wild animals helping Mother Nature, we had a Passion Vine!
Passion flowers or passion vines are part of the Passiflora genus of about 500 species of flowering plants. Nine of these are native to the United States, including the Blue Passion Flower like ours.
According to Wikipedia, the "Passion" in "passion flower" refers to the passion of Jesus in Christian theology. In the 15th and 16th centuries, Spanish Christian missionaries adopted the unique physical structures of this plant as symbols of the last days of Jesus and, especially, his crucifixion:
- The pointed tips of the leaves represent the Holy Lance
- the temdrils represent the whips used in the flagellation of Christ
- The ten petals and sepals represent the ten faithful apostles ((excluding St Peter the denier and Judas the betrayer
- The flower's radial filaments represent the crown of thorns
- The chalice shaped flower ovary represents the Holy Grail
- The three stigmas represent the three nails; the five flower anthers represent the five wounds.
- the blue and white colors flowers represent Heaven and Purity.
In Victorian times, Passion Flower was so popular that hybrids were created. According to the University of Maryland, Passionflower was traditionally used in the Americas and later in Europe as a calming herb for anxiety, insomnia, seizures, and hysteria. It is still cultivated and sold as an herbal supplement for anxiety.
Each of the vines flower blossoms last only for one day. And, of course, it seemed I would never be able to time it properly to get some photos! Imagine my surprise when I discovered the relatively large fruit hanging on my Passion Flower vine!
Egg shaped and edible, according to the Garden Web the Passion Flower fruit is fairly tasteless with many small black seeds.
I suspect that the wild creatures that call our farm home do not agree. Every time I checked for fruit that was ripe to pick... they were gone. I'm just hoping that they've re-seeded some of this beautiful plant so that we can enjoy it next year!