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What do calla lilies represent?

What do calla lilies represent?

You’ll be hard pressed to find a more unusual flower with such a deeply rooted cultural and historical significance as the calla lily. Surely you’ve seen this blossom before – it’s a popular choice for weddings as well as other romantic holidays and occasions. There’s a reason behind this. Just as other flowers have a distinct symbolic meaning or associated emotions, so does the calla lily. With its ivory white petals and lush green leaves, this elegant bloom is more than just something pretty to place in a vase. In fact, these flowers have been sought after for centuries.

So what have these flowers come to represent?

Calla lilies are not true lilies!

Despite what their name suggests, calla lilies are not true lilies. In fact, they are not a calla, either. The calla lily belongs to the genus Zantedeschia and is a member of the Araceae family, along with the caladium and philodendron. It is also known as the pig lily, trumpet lily and arum lily, and begins to blossom in late spring. This flower was first cataloged in the mid 1700s. Why is the name so misleading? Because the Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus made a mistake when he was naming the species. Later, the German botanist Karl Koch corrected the error and established the genus Zantedeschia, but the name stuck. The calla lily is native to Southern Africa, and has a remarkable strength – it can continue to grow in water and even survive frost.

The meaning of the calla lily

It’s no surprise that the name calla lily comes from a Greek word for beauty. There’s more to their significance, though, than just a stunning appearance.

During the Victorian period in the 19th century, there was a flower language boom that meant certain flowers were associated with expressing particular feelings. That means that sending someone a bouquet delivered a very specific message based on the flowers’ meaning. There was no need for words – the recipient could decipher the intended message merely by the blossoms chosen and the way they were arranged. The calla lily plays a role in the Christian Easter service as a symbol of Jesus’ resurrection. In many paintings and other works of art throughout history, the calla lily has been depicted with the Virgin Mary or Angel of Annunciation. For this reason, it has been associated with holiness, faith and purity. Additionally, as the cone-line flowers blossom in spring, they have become symbols of youth and rebirth.

Call lily colors

Calla lilies are commonly white, but they also come in a variety of colors, including yellow, pink, green, purple, orange and black. The colored varieties are called mini calla lilies, and each carries a different meaning. While white naturally says purity and innocence, pink has a connotation of admiration and appreciation. Purple, which is often associated with royalty, denotes passion. Yellow ones can carry a multitude of meanings, but are typically associated with gratitude. Black calla lilies, which have a striking and dramatic appearance, carry a certain elegance and mystery. Though they are more of a dark purple or maroon than black, they are still highly sought after by gardeners and flower enthusiasts.

Traditions associated with the calla lily

You have likely spotted classic white calla lilies at a wedding, and that’s because they are traditional symbols of divinity, marital bliss and true devotion. More specifically, the calla lily marks the 6th wedding anniversary. However, they have also been used at funerals to represent sympathy and the purification of a departed soul. The exquisite calla lily is an appropriate flower for any occasion that involves major transitions, rebirths and new beginnings.

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Burst of Autumn Bouquet

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Retailers January 14, 2014 posted by

Every Flower Has a Special Meaning: What Does Your Favorite Flower Stand For?

This article is brought to you by this week’s guest blogger Isobel Ross.

Isobel lives in the UK and is a gardening enthusiast. She especially enjoys researching and blogging about plant care, garden design, and botany.

Every Flower Has a Special Meaning: What Does Your Favorite Flower Stand For?

Flowers are inextricably linked to the psyche of human beings. Studies have shown repeatedly just how deep the emotional connection is between human beings and flowers. In fact, many studies have shown that the mere presence of flowers evokes feelings of well-being, calm, happiness, and intimacy in people. But beyond this connection, many flowers have a special meaning that is steeped in tradition, symbolism, or both. Below are five flowers with special meanings you may not have known about.

Pansies:

Pansies have long been used to represent loyalty. Often, they are presented on the one year anniversary of marriage, usually from one partner to the other, to symbolize enduring loyalty and a re-commitment of love. Pansies are also quite lovely for decorating, and are said to have been used in love potions in ancient times. More practically, pansy tea has been revered for its ability to reduce fever, and so they are often associated with calmness and peace.

Daffodils

Given their beauty, it’s no surprise that daffodils were chosen as the national flower of Wales. Symbolically, they represent rebirth, new beginnings, and eternal life. As such, they are sometimes used in religious ceremonies, funerals, and marriages. More commonly, they are given as gifts from one partner to the other on the couple’s tenth wedding anniversary. It has been said that one daffodil means impending misfortune, while a bunch of daffodils represents joy and happiness.

Violets

A long-standing symbol of modesty and innocence, violets are often given to young girls as a birthday present or for other occasions. They are also a representation of enduring faithfulness, and they are often exchanged by couples on their fifteenth wedding anniversary. In ancient Greece, they were used to calm tempers and induce sleep, and the scent of lavender is still used to calm and induce sleep in aromatherapy products.

Orchid

The orchid is a symbol of rare beauty, and they are often given as graduation and marriage gifts. Orchids are often said to symbolize refinement, and in the Chinese culture it is said that orchids symbolize having many children. The flower is also given as a gift on a couple’s 28th wedding anniversary. Many florists, like ArenaFlowers.com, offer a single orchid in a simple, white vase. This is a stunning way to present an orchid, as the flower has also been used to represent simplicity and pure, natural beauty. In contrast to their demure appearance, though, orchids are actually quite strong, according to the American Orchid Society.

Sunflower

Sunflowers are well known to follow the sun as it tracks across the sky. For this reason, the flower has often been associated with devotion and loyalty, and as a way of letting someone know you will follow them wherever they go. The giving of a sunflower is typically a symbolic gesture of devotion, adoration, and good tidings, as sunflowers are also associated with cheer and joy. There are far too many flowers in the world to put all of their meanings in a single place, but the above examples gives you an idea of just how many symbolic meanings are associated with different flowers. If you want to create a truly meaningful bouquet, have a look at the meaning of various flowers and assemble a thoughtful bouquet. Finding out what your favorite flower means might give you an idea of your own personality and can be a fun exercise to engage in with friends.

flowers and their meaning

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