Despite having the word lily in its name, a calla lily is not actually a “true” lily! Say what? Fear not, we’re about to enlighten you:
Here’s the thing, true lilies belong to the genus Lilium, a group of large-flowered plants that grow from bulbs. When you order lilies for your home, you’re typically choosing from either Asiatic (non-scented) or Oriental lilies – the latter of which give us that distinctive sweet lily fragrance that tends to strongly divide opinion.
Calla lilies, however, belong to the genus Zantedeschia and it’s thought they get their name from the Greek word for beauty — calla. The flowers have an interesting mythological history. Calla lilies are said to come from the ancient goddess Hera, the wife of Zeus. Legend has it that Zeus brought Hercules to nurse from Hera while she was sleeping. Hera awoke and pushed the baby away from her. Drops of milk flew across the sky creating the milky way and everywhere they landed on earth, calla lilies bloomed.
Despite these flowers not being a “true” lily, we like them because they’re versatile, fragrance-free, and give great structure to arrangements. They also come in a wide variety of bright colours! Calla lilies are also available in plant form and are fairly easy to care for.
Be warned, though – you’ll want to keep calla lilies away from children and furry friends! They’re toxic to pets and humans who ingest any part of the plant.
Here’s how to care for your cut calla lilies in a bouquet:
Fill a clean vase with water and add the flower food packet that came with your arrangement
Cut stems at a 45-degree angle so they can absorb the most water
Recut stems and change the water every 2-3 days
Keep vase away from direct sunlight or cool drafts
Want to place an order for seasonal fresh flowers? Head here for pickup or delivery within the GTA!