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Passion Flower Meaning and Symbolism

Passion Flower Meaning and Symbolism

Nothing is unique or religiously symbolic than the vining perennial, passion flower. Of course, the most significant passion flower meaning is related to Christianity and Jesus. But other definitions include unconventional beauty, butterflies, and a fresh start and new life. 

About the Passion Flower

The Passion flower – Passiflora – is a unique flower highly symbolic in Christianity. The Passiflora genus started with 22 species in 1745 and now has over 600 plants belonging to the Passifloraceae family. 

Many of these varieties of passion flowers are threatened in their natural habitats in the rainforest. And there are many hybrids, with some new ones still being made. 

History and Origin

Passionflower fruit has been used for thousands of years by many cultures as a semi-domestic crop, including Incas, South American Native Indians, and Aztecs. A Spanish doctor discovered it in 1569 in Peru.

These flowers were brought from native South America to Europe by the Spanish in the 18th century. Today, you can find these flowers growing on several continents, including North and South America, Asia, Africa, and Australia. 

These flowers found popularity in the UK during Victorian times. However, they were less favorable at the start of the 20th century. Nevertheless, renewed interest has led to them becoming more popular for commercial and exotic ornamental purposes.

Common Name

Passiflora – passionflower – goes by many names, with many associations related to religious origins, including: 

  • Fleur de la passion
  • Granadilla
  • Guavadilla
  • Grenadilo
  • Passion flowers
  • Passionera
  • Passionaria
  • Passiflore bleue
  • Passiflora azzurra
  • Parcha
  • Parchita
  • Sweet cup
  • Clock-faced Plant

In Latin, the Passiflora genus translates to flower of passion, hence the name passionflower. It can also be referred to as apricot vine or maypop (Passiflora incarnata), giant granadillaP. quadrangularis, yellow passionflower (Passiflora lutea). 


Every part of the Passion flower has links to a story about Jesus and Christianity. The deep rich purple color of the flower stands out with the five petals and five sepals. 

Inside the flower are three stigma, five anthers, and thin filaments that give this plant a unique look. Passion flower leaves have three points and grow on long vines and fruit trees. 

Passion Flower Care

Passion flower vines do best when grown on fences or on a trellis where they can get support. When growing passion flower, choose a well-draining site with full sun. You’ll need to use an application of a well-balanced fertilizer twice a year – early spring and midsummer.

Uses Throughout History

Passion flower vines are largely chosen for ornamental purposes or grown to harvest the passion flower fruit. 

Extracts from the floral are used to flavor beverages and food. And Native Americans have even more uses than looks or food. They also used it for traditional medicine. 

Flowers made into a poultice were used for treating bruises. And they used juice from fresh fruit for treating eye issues. 

The tops of the passion flower and dried fruits worked like a sedative to ease body pains. While other passionflower benefits include mental issues like ADHD (attentive-deficit/hyperactivity disorder), stress, insomnia, anxiety, and delirium.

The Passion flower can also work for controlling a dependency on drugs or alcohol. 

Passion Flower Symbolism

The Passion flower vine has multiple meanings, with many being religious. In addition, the passionflower plant has become symbolic for Japanese youths who identify as homosexual in Japan. 

The fruit of the passion flower represents the resurrection of Christ, while the various tendrils are symbolic of the lashings Jesus received during the scouring.

There are the flower’s filaments for the crown of thorns he wore. The stigma symbolizes the nails that went through the hands and feet, while the anthers represent his five wounds.

The purple-red stain on the petals is associated with the blood of Christ. And the ovary columns are the cross’s pillars. And Christian belief says the flowers only bloom for three days because that’s how long it took for Christ to rise from the dead.

Unconventional Beauty

The unique shape of these flowers makes them the perfect flower to represent unconventional beauty. Give these flowers to someone you want to acknowledge for their unique beauty, whether inside or out.


Some species of butterflies use the passion flower leaves for laying their eggs. The passion flowers have formed small nubs on the leaves as a result, resembling butterfly eggs. The goal is to trick butterflies into believing the leaves are already covered.

Jesus’ Passion 

The Passion is what Christians refer to as Jesus Christ’s suffering and death. In the Christian religion, Jesus was executed by crucifixion – being hung on a cross with nails driven through each hand. 

His willingness to experience this torture was a gift to humanity to provide eternal salvation to his believers, leading to the foundation of Christianity. 

New Life/Fresh Start

These flowers also represent a fresh start and new life because of their short, three-day lifespan, which symbolizes the rebirth of Christ. 

Passion Flower Color Meaning

Aside from the meanings associated with Christianity, Passion flower meanings also include a new life and a fresh start. The meanings can also vary by the colors and types of passion flower.


A white passion flower represents brightness and purity. 


A red passion flower can symbolize Holy love. And a passion flower plant with red flowers can also mean passion, affection, and love.


Passion flowers in pink can indicate your faith. You can also use a passionflower vine that produces pink flowers to demonstrate strong compassion.


A purple passion flower vine is like the rich purple seen by priests. But a purple passion plant flower also symbolizes a devotion to Christ and religiosity. 


Yellow passion flowers can represent a person’s curiosity. And the color’s haziness can also be symbolic of mystery and superstition. 


Passion flowers that grow in orange can symbolize strong virtues and beliefs. Use it to remind you of daily principles and life values.

Passion Flower FAQ

Find out more about the fascinating Passion flower with these frequently asked questions.

What Does a Passion Flower Tattoo Represent?

A passion flower tattoo can mean strength and sacrifice. But, it also means new beginnings and undying love, like Christ.

Are Passion Flowers Poisonous?

Some varieties of passion flowers are poisonous, while others are safe for consumption for medicinal purposes.

Are Passion Flowers Annuals or Perrenials?

Passion flowers are perennials.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a unique, symbolic plant that can spice up your garden or indoor space with rich, vivid colors, a sweet aroma, and significant religious associations, try the unbelievable look of the Passion flower plant.