Tag Archives: Calla Lily

Calla Lily – Not A True Lily

I was playing tonight in one of my journals – a Strathmore Mixed Media journal – with watercolors and these expressive Calla Lilies appeared:

complete with color pencils 5

Did you know that the name, Calla Lily comes from the Greek word for Beauty?

I started playing in my sketchbook with a stencil and watercolors:

stencil watercolor background 1

Despite what their name suggests, Calla Lilies are not true lilies. In fact, they are not a calla, either. The Calla Lily belongs to the genus Zantedeschia and is a member of the Araceae family, along with the caladium and philodendron.

I then added some pencil lines and more watercolor:

pencil sketch - 2

 The Calla Lily is also known as the pig lily, trumpet lily and arum lily, and begins to blossom in late spring.

I continued to add more watercolor layers and the flowers started to take shape:

more layers - 3

Why is the name so misleading? Because the Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus made a mistake when he was naming the species in the mid 1700’s. Later, the German botanist Karl Koch corrected the error and established the genus Zantedeschia, but the name stuck.

Next, I glued some of my gelli-printed deli papers to some of the flowers:

gelli prints added on some flowers - 4

The Calla Lily is native to Southern Africa, and has a remarkable strength – it can continue to grow in water and even survive frost.

I completed my piece by adding pencil and color pencils:

complete with color pencils 5

You have likely spotted classic white Calla Lilies at a wedding, and that’s because they are traditional symbols of divinity, marital bliss and true devotion.

Happy Creating!