Granadillae Ramys, a woodcut by Bathasaris Morreti, Antwerp, 1635.
Perhaps the most intriguing type of scientific illustration combines these impulses toward realism and allegory, as seen in this picture of the passionfruit. It provides a reasonably accurate representation of the leaves, fruit, and growth habit of the plant. The flower itself, however, is portrayed allegorically, emphasizing the “crown of thorns” appearance of its style and stigma that gave the plant its name. In place of a second fruit is a small sacramental chalice: the fruit of the Passion is Redemption.