Factsthanks to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center for permission to use this photo

The Passiflora incarnata has several everyday names.  The most common include:

  • Purple passion flower
  • Maypop
  • Passion vine

The Latin name for the purple passion flower (Passiflora incarnata) translate into English as "flesh colored passion flower". 

Legends say that when Spanish crusaders found the flower in 15th-16th centuries, they gave it the name of Passiflora incarnata to symbolically represent the crucifixion of Christ.  Representation is found in the five anthers (five wounds), the three stigmata (threethanks to the LadyBird Johnson Wildflower Center for permission to use this photo
nails), the surrounding filaments (crown of thorns), and finally the ten sepals/petals (faithful apostles). 

The more common name of Maypop may have been given due to the fact that the fruit of the Passiflora incarnata first starts to appear in May-June and the popping noise the fruit makes when stepped upon!!

The Passiflora incarnata is listed as a rare species in Ohio and a threatened species in Indiana (United States Department of Agriculture, 2011)  

The purple passion flower has many other symbolic meanings besides the crucifixion of Christ.  For example, florists use passion flowers to evoke a sense of, well, PASSION! The color purple is traditionally a royal color.

After reading all you can about the Passiflora incarnata, how about you find out more about me?