The Colors of Calla Lilies

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White calla lilies may be most familiar, but that’s not their only color. The plant is native to South Africa and grows to 6 feet tall. Surprisingly, the flower does not have any petals. What forms the flower and looks like a petal is called a spathe and is a modified leaf. That leaf is folded into a trumpet shape with a flaring lip. The center spadex is in the middle of the trumpet, looks fuzzy and narrow and is usually yellow. Calla lilies bloom in several different colors.


  • The white is nearly a pure white without casts of another color. The texture of the spathe is velvety. The flower is shaped so perfectly with such a clear white, it almost looks artificial. White calla lilies are often used in bridal bouquets alone or with other flowers. If the flowers have been delivered they may be tightly furled. Cut an inch off the stems. Place in a bucket of water and in a warm, but not hot, brightly lit location.


  • The black is actually a very dark purple, not true black. The velvety texture gives the flower an even deeper hue. Holding the flower up to sunlight reveals its true color. Contrast the black calla lily with white for a sophisticated look. Black, white and pink calla lilies make an unusual Valentine’s Day bouquet.

Red, Pink and Purple

  • The hues run from light pink to a dark purple. Sometimes the color will deepen as it approaches the narrow funnel of the flower. Red calla lilies with white roses is a modern look for a floral arrangement. Graduate the color of the calla lilies from the lightest color pink to the darkest color pink going from the outside of a floral arrangement to the center.

Orange and Yellow

  • Calla lilies bloom in clear oranges and yellows. They create a sunny summer bouquet or can be used with rust chrysanthemums and burgundy asters for a fall bouquet. Contrast the orange calla lilies with bright pink roses, purple orchids and red roses for a bright cheery bouquet.

Dyed or Sprayed

  • Like other flowers, calla lilies may be dyed in unnatural colors or to deepen the color. Dye is added to the water and as the calla lily draws it up it changes the color of the spadex. Another method of adding color to calla lilies is spraying them with florist spray paint. The colors may be graduated, becoming darker as the flower narrows.

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