The passionflower, a genus of about 500 species of flowering plants, was named after the Passion of Christ because the flower structure is reminiscent of the crucifixion. Native to Central and South America, the leaves of this plant were used by the indigenous people as a natural sedative. Brought over to Europe and America, the plant was used as a source for herbal tea and as a remedy for a variety of conditions including nervousness, insomnia and sleep disorders. The fruit of this plant is very sweet and is used as an ingredient in Hawaiian punch and in some of Odwalla’s mixed fruit drinks. The crimson passionflower (Passiflora vitifolia), one of the most beautiful of the passionflower species, is the host plant of the Tiger longwing butterfly (Heliconius hecale) and the Blue and white longwing (Heliconius cydno). Other names for this plant are the perfumed passionflower, the vined passionflower and the grape-leaved passionflower.
This specimen was photographed in the gardens of Si Como No Hotel located in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica .