Calla Lily 101

  • Posted on 07/26/2016 by Laura

These lilies are no ordinary lilies. Though similar, the Calla Lily has a short lifespan, which has an effect on the multiple meanings of the flower.

Legend

The Calla Lily’s Greek Myth is very much associated with the myth of the general lily but a little bit varied. Even though Zeus and Hera were married Zeus had a child, Hercules, with another woman. While Hera slept, Zeus snuck Hercules in to give him milk from her breast. When Hera awoke to see this, she pushed Hercules and her husband away from her causing droplets of milk to go flying. Some of those drops landed in the sky and became the Milky Way. Others fell upon the ground and became calla lilies. Just like the origin legend of the general lily, in her jealousy of Hera’s beauty desecrated the lily by adding a yellow pistil to its center.

Meaning

  • Yellow/orange: joy, growth, and change.
  • Lavender/light blue: a sense of grace and refined beauty.
  • Dark purple: royalty and strength.
  • Pink: flirting and admiration.
  • Dark red: intensity and passion.

The flower also can also mean, in the Victorian language of flowers, magnificence and overwhelming beauty. Faith and purity are also associated with the flower in its more Christian associations, as well as resurrection and rebirth, though that has a greater association with the fact that the flower returns and is in bloom every winter. The white flower erupting out of dark foliage has also contributed to the association between the flower and Jesus Christ. Another meaning of the flower is overcoming challenges because the flowers regrow in a vase despite having been cut. This also makes sense because the flowers bloom in winter, surviving the cold and frosty weather. The flower may also represent liveliness and youth.

Fun Facts

The calla lily is not actually a type of lily. It’s not even a type of calla. It belongs to the Araceae family, and might also be known as the pig lily, trumpet lily, and arum lily. The Botantist Linnaeus actually mislabeled the flower originally. By the time the name was discovered to be incorrect, the name was already widely known and too late to be corrected. 

Each part of the flower is poisonous.

The Calla Lily is a strange flower, one that can symbolize love and marriage, often used in wedding bouquet only to then again be used in funeral bouquets for the departed.

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