What family are calla lilies?

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There is some confusion regarding the proper classification of the Calla lilies and many Calla lily enthusiasts therefore ask “What family are calla lilies?” The answer to this question is simple – all the calla lilies are found within the family Araceae, in the order Alismatales and the class Liliopsida. The confusion is instead related to the various genera within the family Araceae. The Calla lilies derives their name from the genus Calla, a genus to which they used to belong. Today, the Calla lilies have however been moved to the genus Zantedeschia. This genus currently contains 28 different plant species; all native to the African continent where they can be found from Malawi to South Africa.  In addition to the Calla lilies, you will for instance find the popular Arum lilies in this genus.

What family are calla lilies – an introduction to the family Araceae

All the species within the family Araceae are monocotyledonous flowering plants. This means that their seeds contain an embryonic leaf, a so called cotyledon. The family Araceae contains more than 3700 species divided into 107 different genera. Zantedeschia is one of the more notable genera within this family, but you will also find well-known genera such as Anthurium and Colocasia in this family. Anthurium is the genera to which the popular Flamingo Lily (Anthurium andraeanum) belongs. In the genus Colocasia you will find Taro (Colocasia esculenta), a plant grown as a nutritious vegetable in the tropics, sometimes referred to as Elephant ear. Araceae species are found in the Old World as well as in the New World. A majority of the species is native to warm regions of the world, but several species grow in north temperate regions.











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