What kind of flower is this?
Etymology and names
Blue Passion Flower (Passiflora caerulea), showing most of the "Passion of Christ" characters.
Popularly, passionflowers and especially passionfruit are frequently used with sexual or romantic innuendo, giving rise to such uses as a one-time soft drink named Purple Passion. The "Passion" in "passion flower" does not refer to sex and love however, but to the passion of Jesus Christ. In the 15th and 16th centuries, Spanish Christian missionaries adopted the unique physical structures of this plant, particularly the numbers of its various flower parts, as symbols of the last days of Jesus Christ and especially the Crucifixion:
* The pointed tips of the leaves were taken to represent the Holy Lance.
* The tendrils represent the whips used in the Flagellation of Christ.
* The ten petals and sepals represent the ten faithful apostles (less St. Peter the denier and Judas Iscariot the betrayer).
* The flower's radial filaments, which can number more than a hundred and vary from flower to flower, represent the Crown of Thorns.
* The chalice-shaped ovary with its receptacle represents a hammer or the Holy Grail
* The 3 stigmata represent the 3 nails and the 5 anthers below them the 5 wounds (four by the nails and one by the lance).
* The blue and white colors of many species' flowers represent Heaven and Purity.
The flower has been given names related to this symbolism throughout Europe since that time. In Spain, it is known as espina de Cristo ("Christ's Thorn"). Old German names are Christus-Krone ("Christ's Crown"), Christus-Strauss ("Christ's Bouquet"), Dorn-Krone ("Crown of Thorns"), Jesus-Leiden ("Jesus' Passion"), Marter ("Passion") or Muttergottes-Stern ("Mother of God's Star").
Outside the Christian heartland, the regularly-shaped flowers have reminded people of the face of a clock; in Israel they are known as "clock-flower" (שעונית), and in Japan they are called tokeisō (時計草, "clock plant"). In Hawaiian, they are called lilikoʻi; lī is a string used for tying fabric together, such as a shoelace, and liko means "to spring forth leaves".
In northern Peru and Bolivia, the banana passionfruits are known as tumbos. This is one possible source of the name of the Tumbes Region of Peru.
My Mom (Los Angeles, zone 24) has a kudzu-like passion fruit vine. It didn't do much for the first 3 years, but then someone flipped its switch and it went on a rampage.cynthia_h wrote:There's one growing on my block. It's in bloom right now. Maybe it's frost-sensitive or just can't tolerate a hard freeze?
We had only one episode of a hard freeze (below 28 deg. F) this just-past winter that I can remember, and this passion-flower vine on the other side of my street appears fairly established. It might be 2 or 3 years old? Unless it grows like kudzu, in which case maybe it was planted 2 or 3 weeks ago...