Link to enlarge vase K7784 &#copy; Justin Kerr Charles Zidar

Family:  Passifloraceae
Genus:  Passiflora
Species:  spp.
Authority:  L.
Common Name:  passion flower, granadilla/granadillo
Maya Name:  xin-to-lok
Depictions:  Shell Ear Flare
Maya Plant Use:  Medicine, food
Botanical Significance:  These shell earflares depict a passion flower (Passiflora spp.) readily identified by its ten-petaled flower. Given its unusual form and incredible beauty it is little wonder that passion flowers are seen in ancient Maya art. Aside from the more modern association of the passion flower with the crucifixion of Jesus, the leaves were used to heal bruises and other injuries as well as the use of the flowers and fruit for its use as a sedative (Dobelis, 1990).
Ritual Significance:  With its unusual display and over-abundance of stamen, it would seem likely that the ancient Maya were captivated by passion flower's beauty and depicted them in their art.
Notes:  Over 22 species growing in the region.
Photos:  Click on an image below for high resolution comparison.

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