Calla Lilies

kal-la lil-ees

The Calla Lily symbolizes magnificence and beauty. White Callas combine these attributes with purity and innocence. Native to South Africa, the Calla Lily is a beautiful and sensual flower. The word “Calla” actually comes from the Greek “Kallos” which means beautiful.


CALLA LILY – STANDARD AND MINI: Zantedeschia aethiopica, Zantedeschia elliotiana, Zantedeschia rehmannii

Most commonly known as Callas or Calla Lily in North America, these distinctive flowers of the Zantedeschia genus are also known as arum lilies in the UK and Europe; pig lilies in their native South Africa, where they grow on the roadside; and trumpet lilies (a reminder of the archangel Gabriel and his trumpet).

Despite their common names, the Calla Lily is not a true Lily but is a member of the Arum (Araceae) family, which includes Anthurium, Caladium, Philodendron, Dieffenbachia, and Arisaema (jack-in-the-pulpit). It’s helpful to remember that Calla has two “L’s, while Lily and Lilies always have only one “L,” whether they are plural or not.

A thick, waxy, funnel-shaped spathe (the petal) wraps around a shorter fleshy spike (spadix) in this elegant “less is more” flower. The actual “flowers” are the “bumps” on the spadix. The stems are smooth and leafless.

The Standard or large Callas are well known and have a head size of about 15cm and the stem ranges in length from about 50–120 cm. The smaller, colored Mini Callas are becoming more familiar and have head sizes which vary from about 7.5–12.5 cm with stem lengths ranging from about 20–50 cm. Either Calla can provide the focal point for a spectacular arrangement or bouquet.

The color or hue of the Calla varies and is dependent upon the growing conditions, so two flowers of the same variety may have slightly different colourations.

There are two different presentations for the white Calla: The Garden Calla and the Single Open Cut Calla. The difference is that the Garden Calla is a regular cut Calla and comes with the leaf. The open cut Calla is a single stem, very open cut with no leaf.

Purchase the Calla at the stage of openness which you desire as the Calla does not open much after they are cut. If they are cut too tight, they may not open at all.

  • Vase life for both ranges between 5 to 7 days.
  • Available: Year round from Central and South America.


Care & Handling:

  • Cut 1″ from stem and place in preservative solution (Callas require the sugar in commercial floral preservative). To minimize curling of stem ends, use water at room temperature.
  • Re-cut stems after a few days, as some curling will occur naturally. Replenish preservative solution as Callas are “heavydrinkers”.


Design Suggestions:

  • Callas are very fashionable. One to three stems of white Callas in a vase make a strong statement.
  • A clear vase with clear marbles is especially elegant.
  • Colored Callas are appealing in bunches or in a mixed, monochromatic bouquet with other specialty flowers.
  • Mix with other flowers to add value to an arrangement or bouquet.
  • Excellent for design work requiring size like weddings, funerals, churches or display pieces.