20 November 2009

Walk to the Monastery of l'Annonciade - the Passion Flower

The Passion Flower, here covering a wire fence, is a most appropriate vine to pass on the way to or from the Monastery. There are around 500 varieties of passion flower but this known as the Common Passion Flower or Blue Passion Flower (Passiflora Caerulea).

The "Passion" in "passion flower" does not refer to sex and love, however, but to the passion of Jesus in Christian theology. In the 15th and 16th centuries, Spanish Christian missionaries adopted the unique physical structures of this plant, particularly the numbers of its various flower parts, as symbols of the last days of Jesus and especially his crucifixion:

* 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 (less 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 stigmata 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.

The photographs of this walk were taken at the end of May, by the way, in case you wonder why we see such a flower at this time of the year.


  1. c'est amusant, a regarder comme ça on dirait un jouet ;) belle macro

  2. Beautiful flower, Pasionaria in spanish, is it the flower used in tea for stress?

  3. Wow what a beautiful looking flower! You have a great eye for which flowers to capture... gr8 job :D

  4. Here in Brighton we still have passion flowers in bloom in late November.

  5. I am so fascinated by these flowers; photograph them whenever I can. Thanks for the explanation, too; didn't know it all.

  6. Excellent photograph and information.

  7. Beautiful photograph and I enjoyed the information regarding the symbolism as well. Bon weekend mon amie!

  8. These grow in my neighborhood in Pasadena. How fascinating that they grow in Menton, too, as well as Brighton and Belgrade!

  9. Thanks for explaining the symbolism. I never knew that.
    Sorry the walk is ending. It was great walking with you to this wonderful place.
    What's next?!

  10. Dina, a short break just to looks at life in general and then I'll start a new tour. Got three in the pipeline so hope you'll enjoy it when it starts. Haven't decided which one yet!

  11. Carraol, yes, same as is used in tea.


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