You’ve heard of lilies but what about the Calla Lily? Lilium is a genus of herbaceous flowering plants growing from bulbs, all of which have large prominent flowers – the Oriental, Trumpet and Asiatic lilies all belong to this extensive family. While there are many other plants with "lily" in their name, they are not all ‘true’ lilies. This rule applies firmly to the Calla Lily – no such relation to lilium, the Calla (known as Zantedeschia aethiopica) is actually more closer related to the Titan Arum than the star gazer lily. From the Araceae family, the Calla Lily is native to southern Africa in Lesotho, South Africa, and Swaziland. This elegant flowering plant is available in myriad colours and is the perfect plant to keep in flowerbeds as well as in the home (granted it’s positioned in a sunny location).
While the name Calla Lily derives from the Greek word for beauty, there are many more meanings for this stunning flower. White Calla lilies represent purity and innocence, pink denotes admiration and appreciation and purple signifies royalty, as well as expressing passion. Yellow Calla lilies signify gratitude while black calla lilies (more accurately dark purple or maroon), are highly sought after and represent elegance and mystery.
Image: Lara White
These stunning blooms don’t require much attention at all; proper planting and location are all that they necessitate. The soil must be lose and well drained and the chosen location must receive full sun (or partial shade in warmer climates). Planting in spring is ideal as the colder seasons do not facilitate optimal soil temperatures. Keep moist, fertilize well throughout the growing season and have your home and your garden blooming with Callas in no time!
With their sleek and elegant appearance, Calla Lilies are a popular choice in bouquets, arrangements and especially wedding flowers. With their wide range of colours, Calla Lilies easily lend themselves to seasonal themes to create uniquely beautiful bridal bouquets. In the context of weddings, Calla Lilies have come to signify divinity, marital bliss and true devotion. As such, it’s unsurprisingly that the Calla Lily is actually the official flower of the 6th wedding anniversary.
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