Passionflowers are beautiful bright flowers that can be used to symbolize Christianity and the passion of Christ, a fresh start and a new take on life. This tattoo is a great option for those wanting subtlety.
What is the History of Passion Flower Tattoos?
The history of the passionflower in European countries dates back to 1633 when it was first characterized as a bright fruit that bears fruit (the passion fruit). However, before it was first labelled under botany in Europe it was also known by a Spanish doctor who discovered it in Peru.
There are actually more than 500 different species of the flower family Passifloraceae, to which the passionflower belongs. The flowers grow on vines or the plant is cultivated as a fruit-bearing tree and it is native to Central America.
Although not very subtle in its name the “flower of passion” is also known by some more inconspicuous names such as maypop and even apricot vine.
Passionflowers have typically never been a very popular option for a flower tattoo, perhaps due to the complexity of the flower. There are a lot of fine details, small lines, oddly-shaped sections and bright colors involved when depicting the passionflower.
So, if you are choosing this tattoo as a symbol of your faith or new beginnings there are many other symbols that are much less complicated. However, the beauty of this flower, when tattooed correctly, is incredible and it is a pity that more people have not opted to commit to the tattoo.
What Do Passion Flower Symbolize?
Perhaps the most common symbolism for a passionflower is the connection to Christianity and religion. This is a reference to the Passion of Christ, a religious sacrament. In fact, not only does the flower itself symbolize Christ and Christianity but each little part of the flower also holds its own symbolism in relation to Christianity.
For example, the red part of the flower symbolizes the blood of Christ, which many people will know is a significant symbol in the religion. Furthermore, the ovary columns symbolize the cross on which Christ was crucified, specifically the pillar of the cross.
In fact, the Christian tradition states that these flowers can only be seen in bloom for three days and are hence even further symbolic of Christianity as it symbolizes the three days before Christ’s resurrection.
Not only does the flower symbolize Christianity but so too does the fruit. The tendrils of the fruit represent the lashes of Christ during the scourging whereas the filaments symbolize the crown of thorns that he wore whilst on the crucifix.
Indeed, the symbolism with the crucifix does not stop there as the stigma is said to be the nails that were placed into his hands and feet, with the anthers representing the wounds.
What Do Passion Flower Tattoos Mean?
Beyond the symbolism associated with Christianity and the passionflower, there are many other meanings behind the brightly-colored flower.
Associated slightly with the theme of religion, the flower represents new life and new beginnings in a positive manner, bringing you peace in the future and a new tomorrow.
In addition to these meanings, there are also additional meanings depending on the color of the specific flower. For example, these are more traditional in their meanings and are commonly shared with many other flowers of the same color.
The white passionflower represents a traditional meaning of purity and lightness. This is not only because of the association with white and purity but also because the white stands out from the green foliage so well.
A pink version of this flower means compassion and is more closely related to the religious undertones.
A red maypop also relates more closely to the religious symbolism due to its association with the blood of Christ but it does also hold a more traditional meaning due to the color red, for example, passion and love.
An orange version of the maypop means that you have strong beliefs and that you are committed to yourself, your values and everything that you hold dear. You are strong-willed and know what you want.
The purple version of the passionflower also holds a deeply religious meaning, such as devotion.
Historical meanings have also changed over time in regards to the passionflower as the Victorians believed that the deep purple color symbolized wealth, power and prestige in line with more common associations with the regal association of the color purple.
When it comes to tattoos you can choose to have the flower represent any of the meanings above, changing the meaning depending on the color that you choose but you can also use it more generally to mean strength, spirituality and sacrifice.
Where Do Passion Flower Tattoos Usually Go?
Because there is so much detail in passionflowers it is typically very difficult to depict them in a small tattoo. For this reason, many people often opt for a larger tattoo in order to accommodate the flower’s complexity. This means that you will also need to choose a part of the body that offers your artist enough space.
For example, traditionally popular places for floral tattoos such as the wrist or ankle are not suitable for a passionflower tattoo. Instead, you will need to pick areas such as the upper arm, back or leg. Your tattoo artist can then adapt your tattoo to that specific area.
Characteristics and Styles of Passion Flower Tattoos
Because of the different symbolism associated with the different colored versions of the passionflower, the tattoo is typically most commonly done in color. This not only allows for your chosen meaning to be more obvious, but it will also allow your tattoo artist to more cleanly depict the flower.
Passionflower tattoos are also often best as a single flower as a bunch can quickly become too busy and overwhelming due to the amount of detail needed.
Bright and bold colors are the best for passionflower tattoos and make the image instantly recognizable to anyone who sees it.