Blue Passion Flower
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Blue Passion Flower
ntroduced Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Blue Passion Flower, Common passionflower, Hardy passionflower • Hindi: झुमका लता Jhumkalata • Manipuri: ꯔꯥꯙꯤꯀꯥ ꯅꯥꯆꯣꯝ ৰাধিকা নাচোম Radhika nachom • Bengali: ঝুমকা লা Jhumka lata • Nepali: घडीफूल Ghadeephool
Botanical name: Passiflora caerulea    Family: Passifloraceae (Passion flower family)

The blue passion flower is a woody vine capable of growing up to 25 m high where support is available. Leaves are alternate, palmately 5-lobed (sometimes 3-9 lobed), and are up to 10 cm in length while being linear-oblong shaped. The base of each leaf has a twining tendril 5-10 cm long, which twines around supporting vegetation to hold the plant up. The flower is complex, about 10 cm across, with the five sepals and petals similar in appearance, whitish in colour, surmounted by a corona of blue or violet filaments, then five greenish-yellow stamens and three purple stigmas. The unusual shape of the flowers has led to the plant being associated in Christian symbolism with the passion of Jesus; the three stigmas representing the three nails used to nail Jesus to the cross, the ovary and its stalk represent the chalice of the Last Supper, the five anthers represent the five wounds, the corona represents the crown of thorns, the ten 'petals' the apostles (save Judas the traitor and Peter the denyer); the old leaves also represent the hands of those who persecuted him, the young leaves the point of the lance used to stab him, and the tendrils the whips of those who beat him. Blue Passion Flower is native to southern Brazil and Argentina, widely cultivated world over.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in cultivation in Nainital.

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