Photo: Tourism Bureau, Republic of China (Taiwan). Photography by Shi-long Kong(孔世龍).
★Blooming period: Every year from March till May.
★Location: Yangmingshan Zhuzihu of Taipei City.
The Calla lily, also known as the arum lily, originates from areas of South Africa. Its name came from the fact that the shape of the flower bud is similar to an inverted horse hoof when it blooms and, like the lotus flower, it also grows in the water. Zhuzihu currently has the largest amount of calla lilies with fields of approximately 13 hectares. It produces 80% of the total calla lilies produced in Taiwan and has become Taiwan’s most unique flower garden area. Although the calla lily season begins in January, the flower blooms from March till mid-April. The flowering process is divided into three stages; firstly, the scope from mid-December till January is rather small, followed by the cold weather during Chinese New Year in February when flower buds slowly start to form. Finally, a sea of calla lilies will bloom across a large scale in March, welcoming the arrival of spring.
Calla lilies can be divided into two categories; wetland and terrestrial. Wetland calla lilies are the white-colored calla lilies that are most commonly seen. The other type is the green calla lily, which is one of the many varieties of the white calla lily, known as the ‘Green Goddess’. Amongst the colorful terrestrial calla lilies, the yellow and red calla lilies are the most representative. Similar to other plants, calla lilies grow in soil with good drainage.
White/Common Arum Lily
- Scientific name: Zantedeschia aethiopica (L.) K.Spreng
- Distribution: Produced in Lesotho of South Africa.
- Characteristic features: The flower blooms during spring and summer every year. It has a unique white funnel-shape bract that wraps around a yellow finger-like flower stalk. The leaves are glossy green and shaped like an arrowhead. The calla lily is a perennial plant and grows from an underground root stem (rhizome). The white portion of the flower that people admire and assume is a petal is in fact the bract, known as a spathe. The short and yellow stalk is spike inflorescence (spadex) whose structure is composed of a staminate flower for its upper half and the pistillate flower for its lower half. This type of inflorescence is referred to as spadix and is a key characteristic of the araceae family. The white bract is referred to as spathe. The calla lily is a poisonous plant and cannot be consumed.
- Scientific Name: Zantedeschia spp.
- Family Name: Araceae
- Country of Origin: South Africa
- Characteristic Features: The calla lily is distinct and diverse. Its main colors are red, orange, yellow and pink. It is considered a popular, high-end flower in the market due to its extraordinary long vase life, which makes the production of calla lilies the main focus of many flower farmers. In the past, the bulbs of Taiwan calla lilies relied on imports from other countries. Not only were the prices high, the bulbs were often damaged by pests which made it difficult to grow. In recent years, Taiwanese seed propagation stations and private businesses have utilized micropropagtion techniques to enhance the speed of plant breeding. The combining of cultivation and virus detection techniques was also included to achieve stable and high-quality plants that are supplied to farmers for plantation. Cultivation techniques have improved vastly over the years of accumulated experience and have allowed high-quality Taiwan calla lilies to be reasonably priced. Taitung County is currently the major production area for calla lilies. The total plantation area is approximately 20 hectares and its peak production period is from November till May.
Photo: Photography by Jeffrey Hsu.(森情寫意: http://forestlife.info/index.html)