The Story Behind the Passion Flower’s Bloom


Dear Reader:

This is my first time and season seeing a passion flower (vine) bloom…and oh, how beautiful it is! I can hardly wait to see the vine climb over the fence with these beautiful blooms accompanying it.

When I walked out yesterday morning and saw the bloom I was so happy…and then remembered Anne mentioned, before she left for Hawaii, that there was a story behind this flowering bloom….connecting it to Passion Sunday and the crucifixion.

A story awaited me. Nothing excites me more! So I have just been waiting on the bloom… in order to take a photo and use it as the catalyst for this blog post.

While researching several sites…this one (below) seemed to have more information than the others…. with all of them telling a slightly different story-line in their version of the legend. They did have one thing in common, however, this flower is revered by millions of people for its Easter connection and timely blooming.

Here are some excerpts to this interpretation of the Passion Flower and the Crucifixion.

“Passionflower – Springtime Bloom with Passionate Meaning”  (Dr. David Morgan)

The passionflower that we have all come to love and appreciate for its unique beauty and Easter connection… is the same species that Spanish conquistadors came to use as symbols to teach Christianity to the indigenous people of the New World.

According to the conquistadors and their teachings…

1) The five petals and five sepals of the plant were said to represent the 10 apostles (leaving out Judas, the betrayer of Jesus; and Peter, because he denied knowing Christ).

2) The purple corolla has approximately 72 filaments, which reportedly was the number of thorns in Jesus’ crown.

3) The three prominent stigmas of the plant were said to represent the nails used on the cross

4) The five stamens were claimed to symbolize the number of wounds in Jesus’ hands. *Catholics and natives living in South and Central America still call the plant the “flower of the five wounds.”

5) The lance-like leaf lobes were explained as being symbolic of the spear that punctured Jesus’ side

6) The dark spots under the leaves are said to symbolize the 33 pieces of silver paid to Judas to betray Jesus.

7) The flowers die after a single day – the time Jesus spent on the cross.

8) And because the petals reclose over the ovary, the conquistadors pointed out that this was similar to Jesus being placed in the tomb and seen as the “hidden wisdom” that constitutes the “mysteries of the cross.”

Later, authors further embellished the symbolism of the plant so that the white petals came to represent the purity of Jesus; the palmate leaves, the hands of his persecutors; and the clinging tendrils, the cords of Jesus’ bondage or the whips with which he was lashed. The fruit then becomes the Earth, for which Jesus promised salvation.


Even though some of the analogies have probably been stretched to coincide with the events of the crucifixion …still I like that the teachings of Christianity were accomplished by using an object for the story.

I loved to do that in class. I would bring a simple artifact in… from some time period…and build the whole lesson around it…getting the students to chime in and add to the lesson.

Nothing could be more beautiful than using a passionflower to teach the “passion” or death of our Savior.  Dr. Morgan’s title was right on target with connecting the passionflower to a passionate meaning.

So until tomorrow…Help us Father use your natural gifts to explain Your love for us  through Jesus’s sacrifice so we might live.

“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh

* I feel like I own a popcorn field these days. Every morning when I go out to walk in the garden…something else has popped up…I don’t always know the name of what it is…but am just so thrilled that it decided to bloom in my garden!

An Update on the Garden:


I didn’t know what plant was going to bloom in two baskets on the front yard fence…and now I do…petunias! Beautiful white petunias…perfect for Easter!




“Lo, how a rose er’ blooming”…well maybe not quite blooming, but it is the first bud (about to bloom) from the rose bush that my neighbor, Vickie, gave me!




There is an inspiring anecdote to accompany these photos below…I emailed Doodle because I wasn’t sure about either flower’s name and I started the email …with “Poor Doodle” …having to put up with me and my constant lack of name-calling in the garden.

Later…I got my answers (zinnia and snapdragon) with a memorable opening response I hope I never forget:

Hey Becky, 

I am not Poor Doodle!  I am rich and happy–a yard full of flowers have always made me feel like the wealthiest person in the world.



Cabbages are quite remarkable…always finding one more bloom to share after their season is over.



The “P” in my HOPE sign has disappeared so I went back to Simple to Sublime to get another… One can’t ever lose hope…especially the “P”…because the remaining letters form a word that could be misconstrued.

While inside…I saw this wooden plaque and loved the message.


No truer words were spoken…the more we have …the less we have (in time) to see God’s World the way He wants us to see it …before leaving it.

* Another “Cindy” Bunny!

Easter is drawing nearer! photo 2


About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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3 Responses to The Story Behind the Passion Flower’s Bloom

  1. Gin-g Edwards says:

    I can’t wait to see your garden. I have been back and forth to NC a lot. I loved the story today and Doodle is right.


  2. Becky Dingle says:

    I do miss you…but am sure it is always stuff to do following the departure of a loved one…..when you do get back…just come on over!


  3. Fran Townsend says:

    “When you are most simple is when you really feel free” — so true! Or, according to Kris Kristofferson, “freedom’s just another word for nothing else to lose”. Your visits to the emerging spring garden sound like watching a toddler at her first Easter egg hunt! Delightful!


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