Popular for weddings, funerals and contracts, you'll find so many different types of Calla at New Covent Garden Flower Market including this beautiful variety called Colombe de la Paix.
Part of the Araceae family, Calla Lily is one of the common names for Zantedeschia. The other common name is Arum Lily. Calla Lilies are tender forms of the plant. And they're found as cut flowers at the market in a wonderful array of colours, ranging from yellow, orange and deep pink to white, blush, purple, pale pink and bi-coloured. Arum Lilies on the other hand are hardier outdoor forms with striking white flowers. They're also available from our plant wholesalers at Nine Elms at this time of year.
Native to South Africa, although now grown in Holland and Kenya too, the Zantedeschia is thought to be named after the Italian botanist Giovanni Zantedeschi. And the common name ‘calla’ comes from the Greek word meaning ‘beautiful’. Whilst we're on the subject of names, the lily part of its name is a misnomer, as the flower isn't in fact a lily!
Its trumpet-like petal, atop a long, fleshy, bright-green stalk, is a spathe wrapped sheath-like around an upright spadix or spike. The actual flowers are very small and are located on the elongated spadix in the centre of the spathe. When the spadix is fluffy with pollen, this indicates an older flower. Quantity wise, you'll find cut flowers available in wraps of 10 stems, in different lengths, virtually all year round.
According to traditional folklore, Calla Lilies came to be when Eve was leaving the Garden of Eden. Her tears of sorrow fell to the ground and from those tears sprung the Calla Lily. And in the Language of Flowers, the bloom represents feminine beauty or delicacy, purity, sympathy and modesty.
Colombe de la Paix
Not technically a Calla Lily, but definitely a Zantedeschia, is this Arum Lily plant, which you'll find available at our plant wholesalers. They're a perfect addition to containers in partial shade.
Over at our sundries wholesalers, you'll find silk Calla Lilies in a range of different colours. If you're looking to create a 1930s (an era when the flowers were very popular) look for a design that needs to be in situ for a while, do check them out.
Calla Lilies look wonderful either massed on their own or combined with other flowers in wedding, funeral and contract designs. The taller varieties in particular are popular for adding a strong, structural element to arrangements.
Don't forget that with a little gentle coaxing their stalks can be manipulated into wonderful curves, creating a lovely effect in arrangements.
Here are some examples of gorgeous designs featuring this stylish flower...
Bridal Bouquet by Amanda Austin Flowers
Wedding Bouquets by NB Flowers
Installation by InWater Flowers
Mantelpiece Design by Cyrill Tronchet
Contract Tablescape by John Carter Flowers
Tablescape by Petal to the Metal
Installation by SuperNature Flowers
Bouquet by Pulbrook & Gould Flowers
Design by Yan Skates
Vase Arrangement by Veevers Carter
(Source: Iris and Co)
(Source: Iris and Co)
We'd love to see photos of arrangements that you've made using Calla Lilies from the Flower Market. Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, stating your company name and website address. Or if you prefer, you could post your photo on Instagram or Twitter and tag us with @MarketFlowers. We'll then upload your photos into this section.
I hope you've enjoyed reading this month's florist's guide. Please do ask away below if you have any questions or would like to make any general comments. As always, we'd love to hear from you...
P.S. Did you know that a painting by American artist Georgia O'Keeffe of a white Calla Lily sold for almost $9 million in 2015?!