Monthly Archives: May 2011

“Calla Lily Portrait”

I thought I might take a break from posting my wildflower images and turn to an old favorite of mine and that is the Calla Lily, according to Wikipedia…..

Zantedeschia aethiopica (common names Lily of the Nile, Calla lily, Easter lily, Arum lily, Varkoor, an Afrikaans name meaning pig’s ear); syn. Calla aethiopica L., Richardia africana Kunth, Richardia aethiopica (L.) Spreng., Colocasia aethiopica (L.) Spreng. ex Link) is a species in the family Araceae, native to southern Africa in Lesotho, South Africa, and Swaziland.[1]

It is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant, evergreen where rainfall and temperatures are adequate, deciduous where there is a dry season. Its preferred habitat is in streams and ponds or on the banks. It grows to 0.6–1 m (2–3 ft) tall, with large clumps of broad, arrow shaped dark green leaves up to 45 cm (18 in) long. The Inflorescences are large, produced in spring, summer and autumn, with a pure white spathe up to 25 cm (10 in) and a yellow spadix up to 90 mm (3½ in) long.[2]

Zantedeschia contains calcium oxalate, and ingestion of the raw plant may cause a severe burning sensation and swelling of lips, tongue, and throat; stomach pain and diarrhea is possible.[3][4]

Zantedeschia aethiopica is native to southern Africa in Lesotho, South Africa, and Swaziland. It has become naturalised in Australia, particularly in Western Australia where it occurs in areas with high periodical water tables and sandy soils and has been classified as a toxic weed and pest.[5][6]

A number of cultivars have been selected for use as ornamental plants. ‘Crowborough’ is a more cold tolerant cultivar growing to 90 cm (36 in) tall, suited to cool climates such as the British Isles and north-western United States. ‘Green Goddess’ has green stripes on the spathes. ‘White Sail’, growing to 90 cm tall, has a very broad spathe.[2] ‘Red Desire’ has a red instead of yellow spadix and appears to be rare. ‘Pink Mist’ has a pinkish base to the spathe.

In order to introduce colours to the large white Calla Lilies just like the many colour varieties available with the dwarf summer Calla Lilies, attempts to hybridise Zantedeschia aeithiopica x Zantedeschia elliotiana have resulted in albino progenies, which are non-viable.

It has been cultivated for the Easter floral trade since the early 20th century; hence the (ambiguous) name ‘Easter lily’, common in Britain and Ireland. It has become an important symbol of Irish Republicanism since the Easter uprising of 1916.

It is the National Flower of St. Helena[1], where it grows widely.

Sorry for the long description but I don’t have the patience to write that much !!

But I do have the patience to photograph these beautiful flowers and I was especially happy with this specimen, I shot this in my portrait studio here in Madison Indiana, and used a light box and floor lamp to achieve this wonderful light. I think the warm yellow light that rose up thru the flower added a great touch to the image, I usually like all my Calla Lilies shot in B&W but this one had to be left in color because of that golden light.

Hope you enjoyed the image as much as I did ans thanks for stopping by and taking a look, as always for best viewing click on the image !!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

“Wild Columbine”

Here is another wildflower image from this past spring, even though the spring wildflower season turned out to be less than a stellar one , I did manage to get a few note worthy images. I shot this beautiful Wild Columbine at Clifty Falls State Park near Madison Indiana between thunderstorms and wind<,imagine that, it was situated in a crevice in a large boulder that helped keep the light and wind at bay.

Clifty Falls has an enormous amount of Columbines in the park due to the large boulders that dot the landscape there, if you ever need a good place to shoot them definitely give Clifty Falls a shot, you won’t be disappointed.

Columbines are truly hard to photograph due to how the bloom hangs out and away from the main plant, making even the slightest breeze seem like a Tornado, you need to find  a still day or a protected  environment to get a quality shot, they tend to grow in and around rock crevices, so finding these areas would make for  a great place to find and start shooting them.

Here is some more info from Wikipedia ….

Aquilegia canadensis (Canadian or Canada Columbine, Eastern Red Columbine, wild columbine, honeysuckle) is a herbaceous perennial native to woodland and rocky slopes in eastern North America, prized for its red and yellow flowers. It readily hybridizes with other species in the genus.

Height is 15–90 cm (6–35 in). Leaves are lobed and grouped in 3s, growing from the base and off the flowering stems.

Flowers are 1-2 inches long and have yellow petals with a red spur and red sepals. They appear in late spring, nodding on stems above the leaves. The round end of the spur contains nectar, which is sought by butterflies and hummingbirds.

The caterpillars of Columbine Duskywing (Erynnis lucilius) feed on the leaves.

The plant is easily propagated from seed and blooms the second year. It is relatively long lived in the garden. It grows well in shade, and in sun with proper moisture.

The cultivar ‘Little Lanterns’ is half the height of the species.

Native American tribes used various parts red columbine in herbal remedies.

I hope you liked the photo and info, thanks for stopping by and taking a look, click on the image for best viewing !!