The exotic bloom of the passion flower is thought to symbolize the passion of Christ with its unique floral parts representing the Crucifixion. The flower with five purplish petals and five sepals are the 10 faithful apostles surrounded by a white fringe or the crown of thorns and the five styles are the nails with the stamens, his five wounds. In addition to its religious affiliation, the passion flower was called by the Acadian French the “liane de grenade” or “vine of the hand grenade” due to the popping sound its fruit makes when crushed, along with another common nickname, “maypop.”
A perennial with blooms that close at night and open in the day, it is found in woods, fields, ditches, roadsides, streams and swamp banks. The foliage has long tendrils that curl for attachment and climbing; this vine can take over and grow six to 30 feet tall, blanketing an entire fence.
Sun and Shade and Soil
Passiflora will thrive in sun and partial shade but will bloom with more sun and likes moist well-drained soil but can tolerate poor and dry conditions.
Butterflies are Free
If you are looking to attract butterflies plant a passiflora incarnata with its wild colors and dark green foliage. Passion vines can also be pollinated by bees, hummingbirds, wasps and bats.