Thursday, July 14, 2011
Flowers of passion!
It was the Jesuit missionaries of the 17th Century,who followed in the wake of the (then) all-conquering Spanish empire,that saw the first Passion flower as part of God's bountiful creation.The passion flower is so called because it symbolised Christ's suffering on the cross. Passion flowers are climbing vines, probably distant relatives of the cucumber.The flower, however, is a thing of unique and undisputed beauty, regardless of the provenance of its design.
The typical passion flower has five sepals and five petals, which are almost identical to the sepals. Immediately inside these is a structure with a shape found in no other flower. This corona is formed of two stacked rings of very fine filaments, often brightly coloured like the sepals and petals. Protruding from the centre of the corona is a small post, upon which rests the ovaries, five stamens and anthers, and three stigmas.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.But fact remains that the passion flower is indeed an exquisitely beautiful plant.
Passion flowers are quite easy to grow. You can grow your own passion vines cheaply and easily by getting your seed from the fruit rather than a nursery and letting them climb all over a pandal or a fence.
I make a really divine juice from the fruit which does use a lot of sugar but which is full of the goodness of vitamin C.