There’s more than enough love to go around between lilies and calla lilies. Both flowers are uniquely gorgeous, rich in symbolism, and popular with gardeners and flower enthusiasts alike. But their shared name can be misleading, since, contrary to popular belief, they don’t actually belong to the same plant family.
So in the interest of giving each flower its due celebration, we’ve put together your ultimate guide to lilies vs. calla lilies. Below, feast your eyes on the most basic facts about lilies – starting with what a lily actually is!
The Facts About Lilies
Any idea what lily of the valley, daylily, peace lily, canna lily, and calla lily have in common? Hint: It’s not the plant family they belong to.
That’s right – though each of the above flowers has lily in the name, none of them are what we call “true” lilies.
In herbology terms, true lilies belong to the genus Lilium, a group of large-flowered plants that grow from bulbs. But there’s more: when you order lilies for your home, you’re typically choosing from either Asiatic or Oriental lilies – the latter of which give us that signature sweet lily fragrance coveted by homeowners and party hosts everywhere.
Of these two primary types, Asiatic lilies are known as the easiest to grow, and also bloom earliest in the year. Their lack of fragrance doesn’t take away from their beauty, however; in fact, they might be a great gift idea for your allergy-prone friends! (Look for pollen-free breeds.)
Oriental lilies, on the other hand, take over when Asiatic blooms wane – generally mid- to late summer – and are known for their strong, pleasant scent.
The Truth About Calla Lilies
So if callas aren’t “true” lilies, where do they get their name? Like many other false lilies, it probably has a lot to do with how they look: namely their bulbous trumpet shape. Or maybe whoever came up with their common name just had a mischievous sense of humor. Either way, let’s clear up some confusion so we can get back to absolutely loving callas!
The calla lily belongs to the genus Zantedeschia, but from there, things get a little less straightforward than with true lilies. The name may refer to several branches of this Southern African flowering perennial, including the similar arum lily. (Spoiler alert: They’re all gorgeous!)
We love callas because of their versatility as great bed flowers, potted plants, and – of course! – Bouq flowers. Not only are they fairly easy to grow, but certain hybrids come in countless bright, candy colors sure to wow any guest or Bouq recipient.
Fair warning, though – you’ll want to keep calla lilies away from children and furry friends! They’re toxic to pets and humans who ingest any part of the plant.
Lilies vs. Calla Lilies
It’s pretty clear that in terms of beauty, you can’t go wrong with either flower choice. That said, a little information can always help next time you’re wondering what kind of Bouq to give to your dinner host. Get ready to put these facts about lilies and callas to use!
Worried about setting off someone’s allergies? Maybe opt for scent- or pollen-free lilies or calla lilies, rather than the fragrant, pollen-filled Oriental lilies. Going to a house full of pets and small children? Go for a non-toxic option!
If you ask us, the verdict on lilies vs. calla lilies is in: They’re both amazing! But we hope these facts about lilies and calla lilies have cleared things up, and shown how each flower has its own special beauty to appreciate. For those who can’t get enough of either bloom, The Bouqs Co. has you covered with both!Shop All