Passion Flower, common name for a family of flowering plants, and especially for members of its
principal genus. The name comes from the Christian missionaries’ use of the plant’s floral structure to explain and illustrate Christ’s Passion (suffering on the cross). The five sepals and the five petals together were said to represent the ten faithful Apostles; the conspicuous corona or crown of filaments springing from the throat of the tube, formed by the base of the sepals and petals, represent the crown of thorns; and the five anthers signify Christ’s wounds. The fruits of various, mostly tropical, species, known as passion fruits, are edible. The flowers vary in colour and range from 2 to 15 cm ( in to 6 in). The family contains about 530 species, most of which are climbing plants, such as the blue passion flower of South America, which is widely grown in British and European gardens. The bell apple, or water lemon, of the West Indies, is a species of passion flower with an edible fruit. The giant granadilla is a closely related plant native to Jamaica and South America. The pulp, or aril, surrounding each seed of the giant granadilla plant is used in flavoring drinks and ice creams.
Scientific classification: Passion flowers make up the family Passifloraceae; the principal genus is Passiflora. The blue passion flower is classified as Passiflora camera, the bell apple, or water lemon, as Passiflora laurifolia, and the giant granadilla as Passiflora quadrangularis.