Everyone Could Use A Bit More Passion

I know there hasn’t been much uniformity in this blog in regards to the time-line of photos.  There are just a lot I keep overlooking from our week in D.C. back in July.

The morning after Independence Day we went to the U.S. Botanic and Library of Congress; this shot, as you can probably guess, was taken at the former.  Passion flowers (like the one seen here) are probably one of my favorites…ranking right up there next to Orchids and just about every species of the Bird of Paradise…

Here’s a quick little blurb that I found interesting…

In the 15th and 16th centuries, Spanish Christian missionaries adopted the unique physical structures of this plant, particularly the numbers of its various flower parts, as symbols of the last days of Jesus and especially his crucifixion:

  • The pointed tips of the leaves were taken to represent the Holy Lance.
  • The tendrils represent the whips used in the flagellation of Christ.
  • The ten petals and sepals represent the ten faithful apostles (less St. Peter the denier and Judas Iscariot the betrayer).
  • The flower’s radial filaments, which can number more than a hundred and vary from flower to flower, represent the crown of thorns.
  • The chalice-shaped ovary with its receptacle represents a hammer or the Holy Grail
  • The 3 stigmas represent the 3 nails and the 5 anthers below them the 5 wounds (four by the nails and one by the lance).
  • (The blue and white colors of many species’ flowers represent Heaven and Purity.)

The flower has been given names related to this symbolism throughout Europe since that time. In Spain, it is known as espina de Cristo (“Christ’s thorn”). German names include Christus-Krone (“Christ’s crown”), Christus-Strauss (“Christ’s bouquet”), Dorn-Krone (“crown of thorns”), Jesus-Leiden (“Jesus’ passion”), Marter (“passion”) or Muttergottes-Stern (“Mother of God’s star”).

So, again, the U.S. Botanic Garden is where I got this nice little capture and is the oldest operating botanic garden in America and is open every single day of the year; federal holidays included.  It was founded in 1820, but not officially established until 30 years later.  Seventeen years after that, in 1867, Congress was able to come up with enough money to have the first greenhouses built.  The institute was moved in 1933 to the spot on the National Mall where it still sits today; just southwest of the Capitol.

The main conservatory is comprised of eight different garden rooms under glass for different species of plants and make up nearly 29,000 square feet of growing space and home to nearly 10,000 specimens.  Their plant production facility is nearly 2.5 x’s larger and houses anywhere from 5 to 6 x’s as many plants at any given time…something I would have loved to have seen.

  • Camera: Nikon D90
  • Lens: Nikon 18-55mm
  • Focal Length: 55mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Bracketing: None
  • White Balance: Auto
  • Shutter: 1/60s
  • Aperture: f/5
  • Handheld

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