Saturday, January 12, 2008

Passion Flower

Passiflora Vitifolia, aka Crimson Passion Flower can be quite aggressive in its growth. The vine reaches out and latches on to anything near by with its tendrils. My fences around my house are living proof of that.

This vine is a naturally grown medicinal herb, approved by the German Commission E in the treatment of insomnia and nervousness. It is also used as a sedative in nervous disorders difficulties in sleeping, and anxiety or restlessness. Passion Flower reduces spasms and depresses the central nervous system. Not that I'll ever dream of using it.

There are over 460 known species of Passiflora. "Passion" does not refer to love, but to the Passion of Christ on the cross.

In Spain, it is known as Espina de Cristo (Christ's Thorn). In Germany it was once known as Muttergottes-Schuzchen (Mother-of-God's Star). In Israel they are referred to as clock-flower (שעונית). In Japan, they are known as clock-faced flowers, and recently have become a symbol for homosexual youths (really?) In North America they are also called the Maypop, the water lemon, and the wild apricot (after its fruit). Native Americans in the Tennessee area called it ocoee, and the Ocoee River and valley are named after it.

Passion Flower

2 comments:

dojo165 said...

Do they grow only in your house or have you seen them anywhere else in nearby in Miami. I live here in Miami and need a sample of the vine and a flower for my AP biology class. Would really appreciate the help finding this plant.

Lan Nghiem-Phu said...

You can find the Passion Flower plants at many locations in Miami. Coconut Grove has tons of them. The Kampong does. Go to The Tropical Fairchild garden. You may be able to ask them for a cutting. They had a plant sale last year and there were several species of this plant on sale. Watch for their annual plant sale.