Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Zantedeschia aethiopica--Cally Lily

These flowers are not in the lily family, but everybody I know calls them callas or calla lilies. They are in the Araceae family along with Jack-in-the-Pulpit and the titan arum. Callas are just beginning to bloom now, in January. They are from Africa, but they grow really easily around here. I remember talking to someone who was surprised about how easy they are, since they look so elegant. But really, they even become weedy, although most people welcome them in their gardens. If you give them water they will stay green all year, but in my yard, they die back in the summer.

Callas have been a favored item for several artists: Robert Mapplethorpe, Georgia O'Keeffe, Imogen Cunningham, Diego Rivera. My photos don't do them justice. Once, I saw someone jump out of her car with scissors to steal a bouquet. They are very special flowers, but not worth stealing!

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