Calla lilies or Zantedeschia is a genus of twenty-eight species of flowering plants in the family Araceae. These are not native to Japan – all species are native to southern Africa from South Africa north to Malawi. But they are popularly grown in gardens and parks everywhere except in Hokkaido where it is too cold to grow them. They are grown for their beautiful colours and elegant shaped flowers for flower arrangements. Calla lilies are considered by florists as one of the most beautiful flowers with a unique form of the flower, coming in a wide array of colors. Blooming time of Calla lilies is early summer over here.
Common names include arum lily and calla lily, the latter confusing as it is also the scientific name of the related genus Calla.Callas are also known by such other common names viz., arum lily, trumpet lily, Pig lily.
Calla lilies are falsely called lilies, but they are not true lilies. The word Calla comes from the Greek term for beautiful.
They are rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plants growing to 1-2.5 m tall with leaves 15-45 cm long. The flowers are produced in a spadix, with a large, brightly coloured bract surrounding the inflorescence. They have long-petioled, basal leaves arising from a thick rhizome. The inflorescence, on a leafless flower stalk, consists of a spathe and spadix. The spathe, a large, flaring, trumpet-shaped bract, surrounds the spadix which is covered with tiny flowers. The Calla lily roots are the most dangerous part of the plant. The so-called white calla is derived from Z. aethiopica. All varieties with flowers with shades of yellow, orange, red, purple are mainly derived from Z. albomaculata, Z. pentlandii and Z. rehmanni.