"Thematic Photographic" - Carmi at the blog Written, Inc. presents a weekly themed photographic challenge. This week's theme is FLOWERS. Check in and see who else contributes photos based on this idea.
The passion flower is a flowering vine native to South America. It was given its botanical and common name in 1620 when Spanish colonial priests saw it growing in Peru. To them, the flower resembled the Crown of Thorns placed on Christ's head at the Crucifixion. Once they got going on this idea, the blossom's unusual features and structure led to a whole catalog of symbols associated with the Passion of Christ, based on the number of sepals and petals, the shape of the anthers and stigma, the color of some of the species.
The passion flower is also taken, in more secular circles, at its popular common name - passion flowers' sweet scent and the juice of its fruits are considered romantic and sexually seductive.
You can take your pick.
There are over 400 species to choose from, including one native to the United States, commonly called the Maypop.
This passion flower is the species Passiflora alata. Its common name is the fragrant granadilla, and "granadilla" is the name sometimes given to its fruit. This one is growing on a steel security fence enclosing the dining patio at Papa Christo's Greek restaurant, on Pico Boulevard in Los Angeles. The flowers are huge - you can see as I'm holding a blossom in the picture.
It's said to be quite fragrant, although I didn't detect a scent when I took the photo - perhaps because we were eating delicious garlicky roast lamb and feta cheese at the time.
This passionflower is a fast grower, vigorous, and with large thick evergreen leaves. Here at Papa Christo's it competes with bougainvillea and ficus vines, and holds its own.