Botanical Name and Pronunciation:
Zantedeschia aethiopica (zan-te-DES-kee-a ay-thee-O-pi-ca)
Trumpet Lily, Arum Lily, Jack-in-the-Pulpit
Form and Size:
Calla lilies have a very thick stem, which is usually 15 – 36 inches long. At the top of the stem, there is a finger-like spadix, which is enclosed by a funnel-shaped spathe. The smooth, firm and slightly curled spathe is 3 – 5 inches long. There is only one flower per stem.
4 – 8 days
spring – fall
Remove any leaves at the bottom of the stem, cut under water and place in fresh water with flower food. In order to avoid curling, change water and re-cut stems often. The bottom of the stem exudes a sap that can stain clothing. The sap can also cause irritation if ingested and a skin rash if handled frequently.
History and Usage:
A member of the Araceae (arum) family, the calla lily originated in southern and eastern Africa. Its botanical name, Zantedeschia aethiopica, comes from Francesco Zantedeschia. Zantedeschia wrote about Italian plants around 1825. Calla lilies are often found in contemporary or modern arrangements.
Points of Interest:
Relatives of the calla lily include anthurium, philodendron and dieffenbachia. Some members of the Araceae family, unlike the calla lily, are grown for their edible tubers instead of their ornamental value. They provide starch staples to large populations.