The calla lily is an example of an old world flower that has undergone a transformation through selective cultivation. Originally white, it is now available in a rainbow of colors from palest pink and yellow to deepest purple. Miniature varieties are also popular. A native of South Africa, the calla lily is a favorite in bouquets and has a distinctive wrapped shape that is a welcome note of simplicity in the garden. It is easy to grow and can overwinter outdoors in areas that don’t experience a hard frost (zones 7 to 10). Calla lilies also make interesting and attractive houseplants that add designer appeal to a bare corner.
To help retain moisture, mulch potted calla lilies with a layer of moss, marbles or pebbles.
Calla lilies are also known as trumpet lilies.
Calla lilies do particularly well in low lying areas near downspouts or other spots that tend to stay muddy or boggy.
The scientific name of the calla lily is Zantedeschia and it belongs to the same botanical family as the caladium (elephant ears). Although it is commonly called a lily, it isn’t a member of the lily family.
Calla lilies can’t tolerate freezing conditions. In cold climates, bring plants indoors to overwinter.
Calla lilies contain calcium oxalate crystals, poisonous compounds that can be dangerous to pets, livestock or children who may accidentally ingest them.