Listings: Endangered, Maryland; Threatened, Florida
The Plant’s Story
Atamasco lily was one of the first North American flowers encountered by the colonists of Jamestown. At the edges of its historic range, it is at risk, although in some states it is quite common. Atamasco lilies enjoy a habitat of moisture-prone regions bordering wetlands, the edges of flat forestlands, and moist meadows. All parts of the plant are poisonous. Bulbs in the amaryllis family, as this lily was originally described by Linnaeus in 1753, contain chemical compounds being studied for their promising anti-cancer properties.
The Artist’s Story: Julie Martinez
During the winter, my husband and I live in the midst of the Ocala National Forest in central Florida. One morning I noticed occasional clumps of delicate white flowers along the roadside. After identifying them in our guidebooks, I learned they were a threatened species in Florida. I wanted to capture them in a painting and immediately started working on not only painting the flower but all aspects of the plant including the bulb, bud, pollen, seedpod and seeds.
More of the plant’s story and the artist’s story can be found in the exhibit catalog, available at the exhibition venues or online from the ASBA.