9" x 12"
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!
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Passion Flower - A surprise from my garden
9" x 12"