Calla Lily History
The calla lily is neither a calla nor a lily. It was once considered to be a calla by the Swedish botanist, Carolus Linnaeus and he categorized all similar plants under the calla genus. When further testing proved that not all callas were not closely related enough to be considered as one genus, a new genus was created by the German botanist, Karl Koch.
And so, the calla lily genus became known as the zantedeschia genus, named after the Italian botanist Giovanni Zantedeschi. All of the genuses are related to each other under the family of Araceae however.
It is not really clear when the calla lily showed up in Europe, but based on an illustration from the Royal Garden in Paris in 1664, it is safe to say that it was grown in Europe at that time. The calla lily became a very popular flower after that, showing up at funerals, weddings and practically any festivity in Europe.
The calla lily is symbolic of marriage and purity because of its white color and its trumpet-like shape, similar to a woman’s shape.
The calla lily is a popular flower because it blooms all year around in the southern to center parts of Europe in greenhouses.
- When the calla lilies are brought home, it is important to start the hydration process.
- After you have removed the callas from the packing material, you may find that the stems are curved, in a angle that you may not want to work with. To keep the stems straight, wrap newspaper around the stems as they hydrate.
- Cut 3 cm from the bottom of the stem. Avoid removing all of the white stem end if possible. The white portions of the stems helps with the water uptake and will reduce the chances of the stem curling or splitting.
- To reduce the stem softening, use approximately 5 cm of water post harvest care
The simple, clean elegant lines of the calla lily make it a popular “signature flower.” Several can stand alone in a vase, or mixed with greens in a low basket or dish. As well, they make a lovely low table centerpiece.