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Passiflora, the passion-flower. Generally climbing herbs or shrubs. Fruit succulent, seeds many. Found chiefly in tropical America. The three stigmas seemed to the devout Roman Catholics of South America to represent nails; one transfixing each hand, and one the feet of the crucified Saviour; the five anthers, His five wounds; the rays of the corona, His crown of thorns, or the halo of glory around His head; the digitate leaves, the hands of those who scourged Him, the tendrils, the scourge itself; while, finally, the 10 parts of the perianth were the 10 apostles -- that is, the 12 wanting Judas who betrayed, and Peter who denied, his Lord.

Entry from Everybody's Cyclopedia, 1912.

Pas"si*flo"ra (?), n. [NL., from L. passio passion (fr. pati, passus, to suffer) + flos, floris, flower.] Bot.

A genus of plants, including the passion flower. It is the type of the order Passifloreae, which includes about nineteen genera and two hundred and fifty species.


© Webster 1913.

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