Thursday, September 29, 2016

A Symbolic Passion

Passion fruit,  Passiflora edulis — just one of the most beautiful flowers. Just down the road from my house, I stumbled across a fence covered in the vine. It was early morning and the flowers were just unfurling in the warm morning air. And the fruit was just beginning to form.

To me, the flower looks like like something out of a Dr. Seuss story. But that's not how it got its name. Here's the story:
It was named by 16th century Spanish missionaries who came across it in South America. Everything about it meant something to them (the following is from Wikipedia):

  • 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 (excluding 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 stigmas 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.
An interesting blog about the healing power of the passion flower. 
I use the fruit to make jam! It's really good! Here's the recipe:

Passion Fruit Jam
20 Passion Fruit
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
Pectin - on hand, if needed

Cut Passion Fruit in half, scoop out seeds and set aside.
Boil skins until soft and transparent - scoop out pulp.
Blend pulp and seeds together.
Cook pulp and seeds - bring to boil then simmer until thick.
Ladle in to jars. Water bath or store in refrigerator.

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