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Flowers 101: Calla Lily


Since so many of you expressed your unabashed love for calla lilies I thought it would be a fantastic flower to feature as the flower of the week. A very versatile flower, the calla lily is scientifically known as zantedeschia - a genus of 28 floral species native to South Africa that derives its name from a 19th century Italian botanist named Giovanni Zantedeschi. It consists of a funnel shape colored leaf that surrounds tiny flowers. The leaves are broad and narrow shaped and attach to the stem at the base of the plant.

Thought of as a weed in many parts of the world, calla lilies grow continuously for long periods of time when watered and fed regularly. They can also thrive in many soils and habitats and can survive minor frosts. For planting they require full sun to partial shade and wet soil moisture. They bloom in the summer, but need a winter rest period for successful re-bloom. Traditionally calla lilies are white although they have been hybridized to come in a variety of colors. The white were originally considered a funeral flower, but in pinks, yellow, lavenders, and golds, they are perfect for weddings - they are also known to be quite hearty and have long lasting bloom.

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