For Mellow Yellow Monday, I posted a picture of a friend's window box with some brilliant yellow calla lillies. All I'd ever seen in the past were the white ones, many times growing wild in fields. I wondered if callas grew in any other colors so I went to the trusty internet to read up on them. I really wasn't very familiar with the flowers at all. I found out that they are native to South Africa. They are not true lillies but a genus ( Zantedeschia ) of herbaceous flowering plants in the family Araceae.
The plants are quite hardy and can grow in varying soils and conditons as long as there is sufficient water and little frost. They are commercially grown in several areas of the world, being in great demand for wedding bouquets.
The plants are poisonous because of their calcium oxalate content. The roots are the most dangerous. Eating the plant and roots may cause Burning in mouth and throat swelling of the mouth and tongue, redness, swelling, pain, and burning of the eyes, diarhhea, nausea, and
vomiting. For known ingestion of any part of the plant, seek immediate medical help, wipe out the mouth and give milk, if the patient is not vomiting. If possible, note the time and amount of the plant eaten. Contact the National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) from anywhere in the United States for instructions by professionals in the field and get the patient to a hospital.
The calla lilly grows from bulbs - or rather, rhizomes, and spreads by reproducing more of its own. With minimal effort, you can soon have a whole garden of these beautiful flowers.
As for colors, I cannot believe the variety of colors available. I checked one site, Pacific Callas, and was amazed at the choices. Some are relatively inexpensive - the more common colors are $3.75/bulb ( minimum purchase 3 bulbs ) and the rarer colors are $12.75/bulb ( they didn't specify a minimum ).
Garnet Glow Callas from Pacific Callas - $3.75/bulb - minimum 3