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Spanish explorers in 1569 discovered passion flowers in Peru and considered them to be symbolic of the Passion of Christ. They saw them as a sign of Christ's approval of their conquests. This was the origin of its scientific name, Passiflora.
Some passiflora species have edible fruits and have been commercially cultivated for their juice.
The leaves and roots of Passiflora Incarnata (or Maypop) have been used by Native Americans for medicinal purposes. Passiflora leaves are used to make a tea to treat various ailments.
Central American Passiflora Edulis leaves are often dried and smoked for medicinal use.
The pharmacological effect of passiflora is attributed to the harmala alkaloids and flavinoids considered a sedative to treat sleep disorders and anxiety.
In 2011, the University of Maryland Medical Center reported the use of passion flower could trigger side effects and interact with medications, supplements and other herbs. Close supervision by a physician was advised.
PASSION FLOWER Portfolio
Photographing the PASSION FLOWERS (or Passiflora) is a rare treat filled with many fond memories. I remember picking and eating the delicious passion fruits in the rain forests of Hawaii. I also remember many afternoons spent with friends admiring the intricate beauty of the flowers in their San Francisco gardens.
Passiflora is a genus of 500 species of mostly vines in the Passifloraceae family. They are mostly found in South America, Southern & Eastern Asia and New Guinea. Nine species are native to the United States, from Ohio to California and south to the Florida Keys. Four species are native to Australia and one specie is native to New Zealand.
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