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Plantidote of the Day 2012-05-29

twig's picture

lavender calla

Zantedeschia

Calla

Everyone calls these lilies, but as I understand it, they're not. I could be wrong -- but callas are in the Araceae family, and lilies are in Liliaceae. So I'm not sure why they've been labeled lilies. Maybe someone who actually knows about these things will weigh in on the calla v. lily controversy.

Meanwhile, as I was saying before I interrupted myself, callas are South African natives that seem to tolerate poor soil and dry spells pretty well, although they prefer soil that's a bit acid and moist. Zones 8 through 10 are best. In milder areas, the plants are evergreen and the flowers bloom on and off all year long.

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NWLuna's picture
Submitted by NWLuna on

A common-language descriptor, I'd guess.

Examples:

Corn lilies, or Veratrum tenuipetalum, which here in the Pacific NW I've only heard called , False Hellebore. Or sometimes Photographer's Plant, in jest.
http://www.swcoloradowildflowers.com/whi...

Lily of the valley, Convallaria majalis, cultivated garden plant
http://www.gardenguides.com/70101-lily-v...

In Pacific NW
Wild (sometimes False) Lily-of-the-Valley, or Maianthemum dilatatum
http://www.wnps.org/plants/maianthemum_d...

Eastern N America: Wild or Canadian Lily-of-the-Valley, sometimes Canadian Mayflower, or Maianthemum canadense
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symb...

twig's picture
Submitted by twig on

Makes perfect sense, too. Just because something is called a 'lily' doesn't necessarily mean it is one. It's sort of like calling what McDonald's sells "food."