Calla Lily

Calla lilies are exquisite flowers with long trumpet-shaped blossoms and thick fibrous stems.

A fresh calla is mostly open, but with the outer petal still reaching upward. The middle of the flower is clean, with no signs of pollination. The flower shows good color with no bruising.

Callas have thick, fibrous stems that act much like a sponge. The stems absorb and hold water. This is why callas have such a long vase life. They are a very low-maintenance flower, but be sure to recut the stems every few days to allow fresh water to penetrate to the blossom. Calla stems sometimes turn to mush because the stems hold the water and the ends become clogged. They need a constant water flow to remain fresh.

Flame-colored calla lilies in a vase are elegant in their simplicity. The calla lily is the epitome of elegance. These flowers can add drama to any combination, but have just as strong a presence used alone.

NAMES: Calla Lily, Arum Lily, Zantedeschia.

VARIETIES: the most common is the tall white variety, two to three feet in length. Zantedeschias are also available in miniature varieties.

COLORS: White, shades of yellow, pink to deep rose, orange to Chinese red, salmon, burgundy, black/eggplant. There is also a green variety called “green goddess”.

SCENT: None.

FRESHNESS: The flowers are open, but the outer petal (or spathe) still turns upward. The middle is clean and shows no pollination. Watch for bruising.

VASE LIFE: 10 days or more.

AVAILABILITY: All year, but late winter to late spring is the peak season.

COST: Expensive.

MEANING: Calla lilies symbolize magnificent beauty.

NOTE: The white calla lily has long been a symbol of purity, and is widely used in weddings as well as funerals.

OTHER: Check the water level frequently, since calla lilies are heavy drinkers.

Calla lilies are particularly beautiful when used alone.