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The Calla Lilies are in Bloom Again!

“The calla lilies are in bloom again. Such a strange flower—suitable to any occasion. I carried them on my wedding day, and now I place them here in memory of something that has died.”
This quotation uttered by Katharine Hepburn in the film Stage Door is one of her most memorable lines. It emphasizes the versatility of the beautiful calla lily.
The calla lily’s origins are from South Africa and Malawi; the flower was not really recognized in the United States until the 20th century and isn’t technically a lily. It is actually a member of the “Araceae” family.

The Calla Lily in Art

(“Two Calla Lilies on Pink” by Georgia O’Keefe, 1928)
The artist Georgia O’Keefe—known as the “Mother of American Modernism,” was known for her erotic paintings of flowers as well as New Mexico landscapes. She produced many works of calla lilies (above is her “Two Calla Lilies on Pink”). Her flowers are symbolic of women and are undoubtedly intimate and very sensual.

  • The world “calla” literally means “beautiful” in Greek.

The calla lily is hugely important in Mexican culture and folk art (thanks to the work of Diego Rivera). Not only are these trumpet-shaped flowers perfect for weddings as well as funerals, but they also serve the simple purpose of beautiful décor: it is not uncommon for people to have calla lilies made from paper in their homes year-round.

(“The Flower Seller” by Diego Rivera, 1941)
Diego Riverawas one of Mexico’s most provocative and affluent painters. He was known for being very outspoken politically but also for his richly intricate murals. One of his favorite subjects was the indigenous people of Mexico and their everyday lives; he depicted many female vendors selling an abundance of calla lilies (his earliest depiction of this being in 1925).

(“Calla Lily Vendor” by Diego Rivera, 1943)

Calla Lilies at Chelsea Flowers

(“Classic Green and White,” Chelsea Flowers)
The Classic Green and White bouquet is the picture of purity and elegance. With white roses, lilacs, hyacinths, and calla lilies, this arrangement is filled with the essential flowers of spring.

(“Our Choice,” Chelsea Flowers)
Filled with magenta-colored calla lilies, ornithogalum, freesia, hypericum berries, and spray roses, Our Choice is uniquely colorful and upbeat. The dark pinkish-red calla lilies can represent either flirtation or passion. The overall effect of this bouquet is very flirty, fun, and festive.

(“Simply You” from Chelsea Flowers)
Simply You is the perfect bouquet for spring. The yellow calla lilies represent growth or change while the sunflowers and daisies immediately bring to mind happiness and sunshine!

(The “Modern Twist” bouquet, Chelsea Flowers)
The Modern Twist bouquet from Chelsea Flowers adds a much-needed burst of vibrant color to any room and will immediately lift the spirits of anyone who receives this gorgeous arrangement. Fiery orange calla lilies are said to represent joy , and, with roses and hypericum added in, this Modern Twist is certainly joyful.
For more information on the bouquets mentioned above, visit Chelsea Flowers and the websites mentioned below:

For more information on calla lilies, their meaning, representations in art and other topics mentioned in this blog, visit the websites below:
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