Thursday, June 23, 2011

Passion Flower - A surprise from my garden - Lin Frye

9" x 12"
Arches 140#CP

Passion flower, Passiflora incarnata, occurs naturally in our region. I remember picking DOZENS of these when I lived in South Carolina -- their flowers symbolic of Christ's passion - the ten petals representing the ten apostles excluding St. Peter and Judas, the anthers representing the wounds of Christ, the three stigma (part of the female reproductive system)representing the nails used on His hands and feet, the purple filaments - the crown of thorns, the vine itself - the whip used during his flagellation, and the colors representing purity and the heavens.

Native Americans used these plants extensively as a food item. Once the flowers are pollinated, they form a greenish oval shaped 'ball' that turns yellow when ripe. Similiar to the pomagranate, when 'popped' open, the fruit contains dozens of lemony-tart seeds that can be eaten or rendered into a wonderful drink and jam.

These pretty vines appeared years ago in the back of my property only to disappear the following year. This summer, almost eight years later, they've surprised me again by 'popping up' in my 'wild' front garden. The bees seem to LOVE the blossoms, and already there are several fruits ripening. I hope to gather enough to make some special jam later this year. Meanwhile, they're quite vigorous and have already climbed a few shrubs and crawled their way to the walk.

The heat continues....

Have a great day!

Lin Frye
North Carolina


  1. The flowers and leaves are so delicate and you have created such depth under the flowers…almost 3D.

  2. What a wonderful post, Lin! I love passion flowers--nice to learn more about them!

  3. What a coincidence: I did a passion flower drawing on my blog yesterday! They must be blooming everywhere right now; im in California. I'm loving my visits to the Sketching in Nature blog. Your painting is just lovely!!

  4. Thank you so much! I love these flowers too -- but those vines are mighty vigorous -- I'm in North Carolina -- and I wish they had 'popped' up elsewhere so I could put them on a trellis instead of my shrubs!!! LOL I haven't had any luck transferring them ...

  5. Beautiful, Lin! Lucky you to have these back in your yard. I successfully rooted a clipping this spring. Have a great root ball and now need to get it in soil.


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