Calla lilies are herbaceous perennials with arrow-shaped leaves and showy, funnel-shaped flowers. Calla lilies are not true lilies, though they resemble lily plants. In their native South Africa, callas grow naturally by streams and ponds. These flowering plants thrive in rain.
Calla lilies grow from bulbs. Their long, tapered leaves unfold around a tall stem topped by the calla flower. The flowers cup falling rain and spill it down along the stem and plant leaves to the ground. Popular in florist arrangements, the flowers bloom in shades of white, yellow, orange and pink.
Callas grow easily in rain gardens and climates such as the Pacific Northwest where they depend on summer rain for moisture. Callas must be irrigated during dry spells. Calla lilies grow wild in bogs and marshes. Callas need sunlight, five or six hours daily, for profuse flower production.
Paintings by Georgia O’Keefe, Diego Rivera, Henri Matisse and other artists feature elegant calla lilies.