Calla Lily Flower

calla lily flower

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The Calla lily flower caught the imagination of artists and photographers in America in the early nineteenth century when it first came into this country from South Africa. By the early 1900s the flower had become a positive rage in the fashionable parts of the society. The Calla lily flowers occupied the pride of place in wedding bouquets and flower arrangements. The irony is that the Calla lily is neither a lily nor is it a flower. What appears as the popular bell shaped or twirling blossom is actually made up of modified leaves. The showy and beautiful flower is a single funnel shaped spathe that looks as if it is in the process of unfurling itself. The Spadix rises from the center of the Spathe. The Spathe is itself 6-9 inches in diameter. The flowers have an incredible color combination - emerald green with streaks of white and a pure white heart. The striking beauty of these flowers means that they simply need to be put into sophisticated arrangements

The Calla lily flower originally occurred only in white color fringed with a light shade of green. Today, due to their immense popularity, the plant has undergone a lot of culture and new varieties of flowers are available in almost every shade. However, white, pink and yellow are the most popular shades. The waxy white blooms as well as the pointed spear shaped leaves began to make their way into farms and gardens where these are lovingly and carefully grown.

Popularly known as the trumpet lilies because of their typical shape, Calla Lilies are a reminder of the Archangel Gabriel and his trumpet. The word "calla" comes from Greek where it means 'beautiful' - a fitting epitome for such a glorious flower. The Callas bloom between March and June. The plant rises out of a rhizome and needs to be watered thoroughly when it is showing signs of growth. After a few weeks of rapid growth, the plant starts giving out long shoots that develop into the typical flowers. The flowering stems rise quite a bit above the rest of the foliage. The flowers are also popularly known as the 'Green Goddess'. The common Calla stems spire up to 3 feet and will sprout snowy white spathes that are 4-6 inches across and have yellow centers.

The original habitat of the Calla is in the shallow waters or bogs. However their immense popularity has seen them growing well in gardens and greenhouses too. The Callas are natives of the tropics. They need a particular type of temperature and watering requirements. This is the reason why Calla lily flowers are so costly. But the payoff is also equally high. If proper care is taken, the Calla lily flower develops very nicely and blooms gloriously. The flowers are often used as cut flowers and have an unusually long shelf life. Flowers are often shipped just before they bloom. They remain fresh for about 4-5 days. The colorful Calla lilies live longer than the white ones. In order to keep the Calla lilies fresh, it is necessary to keep the flower away from direct sunlight, heat, drafts and air conditioners. The stems of the cut flowers have to be cut just before they are introduces in a mix of warm water and flower preservative. The cut stems can be cut again and the vase can be fully cleaned to ensure that the flowers stay fresh for as long as possible. These flowers make excellent carnations. In its new hybrid carnation, these Calla lily flowers are called the Chinese Mini Carnation. The lovely fragrance adds to the beauty of the flower.

Copyright 2005

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