Apryl and I have been exploring the different vines available at the flower market to incorporate into our designs. Vines are so great to work with, they are like visual cues, leading the eye around a design, creating shape and movement.

Passion Flower Vine and Dahlias

Passion Flower Vine and Dahlias

For the weddings we did this past weekend we were able to get passion flower vine, an incredible plant with wonderful little leaves, curlicue little roots that shoot out so the vine can latch onto things, and incredible flowers. The ones we purchased at the market weren’t open, which was actually kind of nice because it ended up being a neutral green we could use in a lot of things.

Table Design with Passion Flower Vine

Table Design with Passion Flower Vine

There are several varieties of this plant – this was the variety we used, Passiflora caerulea

Blue Passion Flower - Passiflora caerulea

Blue Passion Flower - Passiflora caerulea

Although I admit I find all flowers intriguing, this one is particularly so. It is named “passion” flower not because of love, but after the passion of Christ. Back in the 15th and 16th centuries when Spanish missionaries first discovered the plant, they interpreted aspects of the flower’s unique structure as symbolic of the crucifixion of Christ. The radial ‘filaments’ that surround the flower’s center were interpreted as the crown of thorns, the ten petals and sepals interpreted as symbolizing the ten apostles, the top three stigmata symbolic of the three nails and the five anthers, the five wounds. In Europe, this plant has been given common names connected to this interpretation for several hundred years.

The plant also has long history of traditional medicinal use in North America where Native Americans gathered the fresh or dried leaves of the plant to make in a tea infusion used to treat insomnia and hysteria. Pretty amazing plant, huh?

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