Lilium speciosum punctatum or Spotted-flowered Lily

chrisrob

Bend, United States

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Artist's Description

Reproduction of Lilium speciosum punctatum in Benjamin Maund’s Botanic Garden published in London in 1845.
This is one of four plants shown on the illustration page. Each plant image in the original is only 2.4×3.1 inches and requires a magnifying glass to see the quality of the detail. The black ink was applied to the paper from a copper engraving: the colour was done by skilled artists who used water-colour paints to paint each image individually in each copy of the book. This made each image a unique creation.
Lilium speciosum punctatum or Spotted-flowered Lily was introduced to London in 1835.
Maund wrote:
“The words Lilium and Lily, it is far the most probable, are descended from the Greek LEIRION, a name founded on LEIOS, signifying handsome. The Greeks, it is supposed, applied the name to some species of Amaryllis. The Celtic word LI, signifying white, has been mentioned as the root of Lilium; but we are less likely to have obtained the name of a plant from the Celts than the Greeks, although the language of the ancient Britons, according to Tacitus, was allied to the Celts.
The several varieties of this very splendid Lily were introduced by Dr. Von Siebold, from Japan, to the gardens of Holland; whence they were soon afterwards sent to this country, and sold at extravagant prices…They vary somewhat in their pinky tint, according to their exposure, and to the warmth of the season. They emit too, a pleasant fragrance.”

Artwork Comments

  • genevievem
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