The scientific name of the calla lily is Zantedeschia, named after the Italian horticulturist who wrote extensively about the flowers around the year 1825. Because of its unique shape, florists often use the calla lily for bouquets.
The calla lily is long and trumpet-shaped, with a heart-shaped opening at the top. A thin, rod-shaped structure known as a spadix protrudes from the center of the flower and is visible in the opening at the top of the flower.
The petals of a calla lily grow in a variety of colors, including white, pinks, reds, yellows, violets and purples. Most calla lilies feature solid colors, though the interior of the flower and the spadix are usually a white or yellow color and contrast with the petals.
In the United States, calla lilies grow wild only in the states of Hawaii, California and Oregon as well as in the territory of Puerto Rico, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Despite their name, calla lilies are not a member of the lily family, but rather part of the Araceae family. Other flowers in the Araceae family include caladiums and anthuriums.
When ingested by animals or humans, the calla lily causes a number of severe symptoms, such as stomach pain, diarrhea and swelling of lips, tongue and throat. In severe cases, calla lily poisoning is fatal, warns North Carolina State University.