Calla

Common Names: Calla, Calla Lily, Trumpet Lily, Arum Lily, Jack-in-the-Pulpit

Botanical names: Zantedeschia, (zan-te-DES-kee-ah)

Availability: Year-round, peak supplies December through July

Vase life: 7 to 14 days

Storage temperatures: 50 - 70 degrees Fahrenheit

Ethylene Sensitive: No

Description: Flowers are born on a spadix at the end of a long, thick, straight stem and surrounded by a distinctively shaped spathe. Full-sized callas have a spathe 3-5 inches long and stems 15-36 inches long. Mini callas have a spathe 1-2 inches long and stems 8-12 inches long.

Color: White, ivory, pink, yellow, green, purple, shades of red

Botanical facts: The flower was named for Francesco Zantedeschia who wrote about Italian plants around 1825.

Design notes: The sleek lines of the calla are perfect for line arrangements. Callas are frequently used in contemporary, deco, and Asian influenced design.

Purchasing hints: Purchase callas at the stage they are needed. They will not continue to open after they are cut. Spathes should be smooth, firm and slightly curled, without bruises, brown tips or brown edges. The spadix should not be releasing pollen.

Conditioning: Cut two inches off of the stem ends with a sharp knife. Hydrate in a solution of water and commercial floral preservative / floral food for two hours before storage or usage.

Additional notes: Callas are heavy drinkers, check water levels in vases often. The sap of the calla will stain clothing, and this stain will appear only after laundering the fabric. When making a hand-tie or wedding bouquet using callas, be sure to cover the stem ends so that the sap will not stain clothing. The stem ends of the calla will split when held in water. This is not a problem. However, if you wish to avoid the split stem ends you can wrap the end in a bit of clear waterproof tape.