Thursday, June 23, 2011

Passion Flower - A surprise from my garden

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.

It's preparation time for my son's wedding this weekend. We've got family coming in so I'll be somewhat scarce.

The heat continues....

Have a great day!

5 comments:

Joan Sicignano Artist said...

Beautiful painting and what an interesting story about the flower. I want to wish you and your family all the best with your sons wedding. Enjoy. The Best of Luck to the bride and groom.

Teri C said...

These are such beautiful and interesting flowers. How lucky you are to have them growing there.

Joan T said...

Lovely shading and negative painting. Thanks for the info on the flower. It seems to have a mind of it's own in your garden. Hope you have a great day!

Joan T said...

I almost forgot...have a wonderful time at the wedding! Congratulate the lucky couple for me, and take lots of photos so we can share the day.

Lorraine said...

What a gorgeous flower and so beautifully painted. I love the colors and the white space too!

I know you'll have a hectic time but it will be nice to catch up with family and friends. Best of luck to your son and his wife.

Big hugs,
Lorraine