May 14, 2009

Passion Flowers and Fruits

Photo taken in Rh Bujai Sg. Kain (near Ng. Gat Ulu Kapit April 2009)

Seeing the passion flowers and fruits in Rh. Bujai in ulu Kapit brought a sudden surge of feelings about our faith and love for mankind.

I took the opportunity to explain to my co-workers about the religious symbolism of this very special flower.

The Passion Flower with its various parts is seen as a
symbols of Jesus' scourging, crowning with thorns and crucifixion.

This flower, a genus with numerous species, indigenous to the
tropical Americas, is unique among the hundreds of old Christian
flower symbols in that there is specific historical documentation
of the time and place of its origin - the symbolism having been
first perceived by the Mexican Augustinian friar, Emmanuel de
Villegas, who reported it, with sketches, in Europe in 1610.
The Passion Flower symbolism, as originally perceived, and
then augmented, includes:

The spiraled tendrils - the lash of Christ's scourging

The central flower column - the pillar of the Scourging

The 72 radial filaments - the Crown of Thorns

The top 3 stigma - the 3 Nails

The lower 5 anthers - the 5 wounds

The Style - the Sponge used to moisten
Christ's Lips with Vinegar

The leaves (some species) - the head of the Centurion's Spear

The red stains - Christ's Blood Drops

The Round Fruit - The World Christ came to save

The Fragrance - The Spices prepared by the Holy

This multiple symbolism of the Passion Flower combines a
number of symbols found in flowers individually in the prior
traditions of the rural countrysides of the Old World, from which
the missionaries to the New World came.

Thus, in the popular oral religious traditions of Spain,
Paliurus aculeatus was known as Espina de Cristo, "Christ's Thorn"
(by which name it is generally known today) and Espina Santa, "Holy
Thorn"; Pichomon acarna (?) as Azota-Christos, "Christ's Lash";
Gentiana cruciata, Cross Gentian, and others, as Hierba en Cruz,
"Herb of the Cross"; Ophioglossum vulgatum, Adder's-Tongue Fern, as
Lanza de Cristo, "Christ's Lance"; and Fumaria officinalis,
Fumitory, as Sangre de Cristo, "Christ's Blood". Familiarity with
these or other plant symbols of the Passion and Cross of Christ no
doubt pre-disposed missionaries and their converts to discover
symbolism such as that of the Passion Flower, and to make
transferrences such as that of the symbolism of "Mary's Gold" from
the European Marigold, Calendula, to the golden Tagetes genus of the
New World.

Such symbols gave a specific focus of Christian faith to
the religious sense of nature, and also provided a visual means
of teaching the Gospel story in an era where there were no
printed catechisms.

And, once introduced into Europe, the Passion Flower soon
acquired other religious names, such as in Germany, Jesus-Leiden,
"Jesus' Passion"; Christos-Strauss, "Christ's Bouquet"; Herr-
Gotts-Blume, "Our Lord's Flower"; Dorn-Krone, "Crown of Thorns";
Christos-Krone, "Christ's Crown"; Marter, "Martyr"; and
Muttergottes-Schurzchen, "Mother-of-God's Star".

Passion flowers, known throughout the world, are grown as
greenhouse plants in temperate climates, and often set out in the
garden in summer. A marvellous book, Passion Flowers (2nd Edition),
by John Vanderplank, MIT Press, Cambridge, USA, 1996, describes 150
of the over 460 known species of Passiflora, with over 120
exquisite color photographs - magnificently documenting the
multi-splendored providential celebration of Christ's Passion of
this genus.

Source L Copyright Mary's Gardens 1996, 1967


Personally I have tried to grow passion flowers and fruits in my garden. But perhaps the soil in my garden may be too dry and the sea wind too salty. So I will try once again to grow behind the car porch and see if it can grow on a well constructed trellis. I have seen one plant growing right up a casuarina tree quite near a beach front house. The passion fruit may just be a graceful addition to any one's garden.


A.H.AWANG MOIS said...

MasyaAllah, I cannot help but express my great appreciation of this so beautiful photo and flower. Well done for a wonderful camera job. Keep up the hobby.

Anonymous said...

I agree that this is a beautiful picture...and taken in such a faraway place. It is encouraging the rural folks are attempting to grow new crops for their own consumption.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Hi Prof Awang Mois

Thank your for dropping by....And thanks for your compliments...

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Thanks for writing a comment. I am glad that you too are very encouraging about rural folks growing new crops for their own consumption if not for some cash. Without much financial support it is not possible for the lower income and rural folks to grow crops commercially.
Today the big corporations have taken over farming - this is not a good sign as it may end up like the 30's depression when companies foreclosed like ten pins.
Basic agriculture is at its best organised along family lines ....Small is beautiful.

Anonymous said...

I have tried to plant this fruit at my backyard - but the fruits are not easy to get...three or four in between long periods...sigh.

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