Passiflora ‘Manta’

Lindsay Bourque wrote today’s entry:

Thank you to mdv graupe@Flickr for submitting this great shot of a fantastic specimen (Original Image | Botany Photo of the Day Flickr Pool)!

Passifloras have been the subject of religious symbolism since times predating its use in the courtyards of Aztec kings and priests. In South and Central America, it was often associated with sun-gods. Upon Christianity’s displacement / assimilation of indigenous beliefs from the peoples of South and Central America, the symbolism of Passiflora was altered. In the early part of the 17th century, Emmanuel de Villegas, an Augustan friar of Mexican birth, traveled to Rome with his sketchbook containing an illustration of Passiflora caerulea. He showed this to a scholarly monk, Jacomo Bosio, telling him of its sacred meaning for Mexican Christians. Bosio, who was working on a book of sacred Christian symbols, drew parallels in the flower’s anatomy and the Passion of Christ, from whence it takes its name:

Five petals and five sepals are the ten apostles (leaving out Judas the betrayer and Peter because he denied knowing Jesus), the three pistil stigmas are nails, the dark spots under the leaves are the 33 pieces of silver paid to Judas and the five stamens are the number of wounds; in South and Central America the flower is still referred to as “The Flower of the Five Wounds” by Catholics.

Passiflora 'Manta'

9 responses to “Passiflora ‘Manta’”

  1. Thom McLaughlin

    The more northern “passion flower” is refer to in Japan as “clock face”or “wristwatch” Udetokei.
    One of my favorites and fortunately via these postings many more “favorites” are presented daily.

  2. Mario Vaden

    That is an awesome looking plant. What a character.

  3. Scott

    Excellent photo; however, you’ll note that this species has only five apostles! It is one of the species that lacks petals and has only the five sepals.

  4. Sue in Bremerton

    Honestly, this photo is so much better than the one I saw in real life. The person who grew it, gave me a blossom, and told me what it was, but not the story behind it. I russhed over to my friend’s home. SHE KNOWS EVERYITHING! And she told me the story.
    The oddest thing this was several years ago, and recently another friend and I were talking about it. I shall send her this post, as she will appreciate it just as much as I.
    Thank you so much.

  5. Mary Ann, in Toronto

    What a fetching flower, and such a complex structure. It’s interesting, the elaborate symbolism the Catholic religion has attached to it. (Enough material there for a book, I’m sure.)
    Wikipedia has a detailed article on passion flowers, with numerous photos of different species, and good links to explore…

  6. elizabeth a airhart

    this is michaelmas day feast day
    a christian celebration and quarter
    day in the ancient celtic calendar
    the picture is so handsome tis most
    clear i admire the camera work
    thank you as always and the helpful comments

  7. Elizabeth Revell

    You’ve missed the Crown of Thorns – on some passiflora the rays (I thought they were stamens) are more tangled-looking, for Christ’s crown.
    But it is wonderful how well it fits the story.

  8. Pam Crider

    DIVINE! Both the photo and the plant. Thank you for sharing.

  9. De Kemist

    Awesome picture,amazing story to add to its beauty.

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