Passion of the Flower
I love this weird looking little flower. She looks like she belongs in a movie or on some cool planet in another solar system. Such an otherworldly little lamb. Those distinctive squiggly bits? Those are called a “corona.” A good corona. Unfortunate timing for such a name.
Passionflower (sometimes called maypop) is easy to grow, loves climbing trellises, and is cold hardy to zone 6. Plant in full to part-shade, and water it relatively often. Despite being easy to grow, one day, she’ll up and die for no apparent reason. Somewhere I read someone say, “it’s either a short-lived perennial or sensitive to mean looks.” I liked that. So I’m quoting it.
There are over 500 species of passionflower. You just can’t tame all that fire.
Peruvians were showing Spanish explorers how cool this flower was, and the explorers were like, “Dude, this looks like a crucifix. Let’s call them ‘the passion’ after the end of Jesus Christ’s life.” Weird choice, but ok. So since way back then, that’s what we’ve been calling them since way back then.
Native Americans have long used this flower for healing wounds, earaches, and liver problems. In Europe, folks have been using it for restlessness, agitation, and anxiety.
What good is she?
Anxiety - One study showed that patients who took passionflower before surgery had less anxiety than those who took a placebo.
Insomnia - Another study showed after a week of drinking passionflower, participants slept better.
Woundcare - a tea made from these flowers can be used to keep your boo-boos clean
Earaches - a little tincture will fix you right up.
There’s even evidence it could help with stomach ulcers.
How about that magic?
The calming medicinal properties of passionflower carry over into the magical realm. You can use it in sachets to promote quiet restful sleep, or as a protection spell at the threshold of your house, to encourage new friendships, or in a ritual to calm your bad attitude town. Why are you so angsty?
Take too much and you might get sleepy, dizzy, or confused. It could also cause contractions in a pregnant person.