Calla Lily

Calla Lily

Uncover Hidden Flowers meanings

It’s plain and simple - calla lily symbolizes beauty.

So if you mean to tell someone that they’re beautiful, you can just send them a calla lily or two to express how you feel.  The calla lily has a quite special shape that makes it unique compared to other flowers – and its pristine color further enhances its beauty and charm.

Essentially, it was the belief that 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 lilies.  This blossom is one of the most popular symbolisms for Christianity.

  • Name:  Calla Lily
  • Color:  The calla lily is most popular as a white blossom but it also grows green, purple, orange, yellow, and pink flowers.
  • Shape:  The blossom of the calla lily has a very distinct trumpet shape.
  • Fact:  Although called a calla lily, this is not a true lily.
  • Poisonous:  Yes, this plant is poisonous.
  • Number of Petals:  Lilies usually have six petals but since calla lily is not a real lily, it doesn’t apply to this particularly blossom.  What the calla lily has is a spathe.
  • Victorian Interpretation:  The moment you see the calla lily blossom, you quickly think about this adjective - beauty. And that’s what it symbolizes during the Victorian times too.
  • Blossom Time:  Late spring is the best time for calla lilies to bloom.


Calla lilies have two faces.  And because of this feature, superstitions about this flower has two sides too – positive and negative. For weddings, there are some Middle Eastern cultures where white calla lilies make for the best bouquets.  For them, the calla lilies mean beauty as well as purity.  On the other hand, calla lilies mean death to other cultures.

  • The Shape:  As you see the calla lily blossom in its entire splendor, you’ll be thinking that it looks so much like a trumpet.  But if you focus on the upper part of the flower, you might also think that it looks like the spout of a pitcher. 
  • Petals:  It’s not really about petals when the calla lily is the subject of contention.  It’s not even that the petals are hard to count out.  This is because calla lily doesn’t have a petal – instead it has a spathe.  Wrapped around the spadix, this is really the main part that has the calla lily flowers and there are no petals to be found on it.
  • Numerology:  In numerology, the number 6 is given for the calla lily.  It’s symbolized by the planet Venus and that’s probably one reason it is associated with beauty.  It can also mean balance, sympathy and nurturing.
  • Color:  Regardless of the color of the blossoms of the calla lily, it will always be a beautiful flower.  Get it in green, white, pink or orange, it still symbolizes beauty.  There might be some other characteristics associated with it like modesty but it will always come down to the basic meaning – beauty.

Herbalism and Medicine:  

Widely known as a poisonous plant, the calla lily has a different side to it.  It can also be a plant with medicinal properties.  Basically, the medicines that are made from calla lily are used for topical application.  In South Africa, the rhizomes as well as the leaves of the plant are applied to wounds.

In terms of the calla lily being ingested as treatment or medication, it still needs further studies to make sure that it is safe.  But even as a poisonous plant, the calla lily can be used for treating scrapes and wounds.

By Florance Saul
Aug 20, 2012