Think calla lilies (Zantedeschia species and cultivars) only come in pure white? Think again! While the long-stemmed, white spathes of Zantedeschia aethiopica are most familiar from bridal bouquets and the glossy covers of interior decor magazines, hybrid cultivars with ancestry from other species, such as the pink-flowered Z. rehmannii and the yellow-flowered Z. elliottiana, come in a rainbow of almost every color but blue.
The eight species of the genus Zantedeschia are all native to rocky outcrops, grasslands, savannah or marshes in southern or central Africa. Herbaceous, clump-forming, perennials, Zantedeschia species are adapted to grow and bloom in the rainy season and survive the dry season as tubers or rhizomes. Members of the Araceae family, they are related to anthuriums, caladiums, and peace lilies.
While neither the geographic ranges and genetic relatedness of calla lilies and tulips overlap, callas do share certain ornamental similarities with tulips that make them a complementary pairing in this year’s Tulipmania display, ongoing in Flower Dome. With their large, single-stemmed, striking flowers or inflorescences in jewel tones, we think callas might deserve a show of their own someday!
Written by: Janelle Jung, Senior Researcher (Research and Horticulture)
A transplanted pake (Hawai'i-born Chinese), she's finding her own Singaporean roots. Every plant has a story, and Janelle helps discover and share these with colleagues and guests, hoping to spark a mutual plant passion! Ask her what plant she named her cat after!