Long lasting solitary thick 5 inch long (13 cm) petaled flower that has a funnel-shaped cone (spathe) around a long yellow spike (spadix) bearing the flowers themselves. Very thick and soft stems. Flowers are usually white. But hybrid ‘mini-callas’ have a range of other colors including natural green varieties.
Species: Zantedeschia aethiopica
Origin: Native to Southern and Eastern Africa
Symbolizes: The Calla Lily is known to symbolize beauty, purity, innocence, holiness, and faithfulness.
Also Known As: Calla, Zantedeschia, Arum Aethiopicum, and Arum Lily.
Care, Handling & Design
Temperature: 34-38 F (1-3 C)
Water: Medium water quality. Avoid softened water.
Vase Life: 4- 10 days
What to Look for When Purchasing
Harvesting stage is when the spathe has opened enough so that the spadix can be seen. The spadix (the thick fleshy inflorescence inside the showy spathe) should be visible at the time of purchase. Also, the stems should stand firm and should not be slimy. Look for bruising or mechanical damage due to improper packaging and handling. Also look for brown tips of the spathe. When purchasing Calla Lilies look for pliable stems – if they snap when bent, the flowers are past their prime. Also be sure the flowers are smooth, firm, and wrinkle free. Lastly be sure there is no pollen on the stamen. This forms as the flowers age and is a sign they aren’t fresh. Unlike other lilies, calla lilies do not have a scent.
Stem ends are thick but soft which can make it difficult to handle in foam. Stem burn and leaf yellowing can be a problem in foam. Use low density foam like OASIS® Springtime Floral Foam Maxlife.
Stems are extremely soft. Although you can use with foam, Callas will last longer when arranged in a vase. Callas make a dramatic statement all on their own or can mix with other flowers for an elegant, upscale look. Callas are beautiful, feminine, and elegant flowers perfect for weddings. Calla Lilies’ stems are typically long and thick (except for mini-Callas). It is therefore important to secure floral foam appropriately when making arrangements. If needed, Callas may be opened gently by hand to uncurl the spathe. Their large sturdy stems make them an ideal candidate for large vase arrangements or single flowers for wedding rose ceremonies. keep in mind that the Calla Lily stems may drip for a while after cutting stems. Callas are also commonly used at funerals. Calla lily sap will stain clothing, but the stain won’t appear until after laundering. If using calla lilies in bouquets or boutonnieres, be sure to cover the stems ends.
Pest & Disease Information
Botrytis on flowers.
If flowers were harvested too early, they may not fully open. Browning of the edges of the spathe is a common disorder. Commercial Calla products can prevent it. The end of the stems can split and curl a bit. It is believed to be due osmotic pressure in cells and soft cuticle. Some report that sugar based solution such as flower food can reduce this. Handle Callas as little as possible, especially the flower heads. If at all possible only hold your Calla Lilies by the stem. This will reduce/avoid physical damage.
For optimal care of Calla Lily, please reference the chart of products below. Make sure to select your region to see which products are available.