Given that they come from South America and have an exotic appearance it is perhaps surprising that passion flowers can grow happily outdoors here. They thrive if planted in a sunny sheltered spot especially in the southern half of the country. Once the flowers are over they produce a fruit which is unlikely to ripen into something edible unless there is a long hot summer or the vine is planted in a glass house.
How the flower came to be named is an interesting story which some of you may already know.
In the late c15th early c16th Spanish missionaries to South America adopted the flower as a teaching tool to explain the story of the Passion of Christ to the indigenous people.
The three stigmas in the center represent the nails that held Christ to the cross - one of mine has snapped which I didn't notice when I took the photo. The five anthers represent the five wounds, the five white petals and five sepals around the edge together represent the ten faithful apostles, but exclude Judas, the betrayer, and Peter who denied Christ. The pretty filaments which can number in excess of a hundred are said to represent the crown of thorns, and their colour blue - heaven. The tendrils (not shown on my photo) are the whips used in the flagellation.