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Calla Lily: The Beauty of Balance

Calla Lily: The Beauty Of Balance

AKA: Arum Lily

Cala Lily symbolizes purity and innocence, according to popular mythology. This flower is used at transitional times like weddings and funerals to symbolize a wish for fertility and purity for those who are making the transitions. In art, the Cala Lily has often been used as a connection between seemingly opposing forces. In Diego Rivera’s works, the Cala Lily calls our attention to the connection between the wealthy and working classes. Georgia O’Keefe’s paintings of Cala Lily focus on the connection between the masculine and feminine, highlighting the beauty of the two balanced within the form of this flower.

Flower essence practitioners often suggest Calla Lily flower essence for those who struggle with the balance between gender or sexual forces in their lives. For men and women alike who struggle with their gender identity or who feel they need to bring more balance to how the yin and yang or active and receptive aspects of their psyche manifest in the world, Calla Lily Flower essence is a likely partner.

If you’re thinking of making your own flower essence of Calla Lily, be aware that it’s a toxic flower. Calla Lily is actually neither a lily or a calla, but rather a poisonous aroid of the Araceae family,  to be precise. These flowers have been around since at least the late Jurassic period when pterodactyls roamed the Earth. Their white petals are actually specialized leaves called spathes or flower bracts that surround a bright yellow spadix or flower spike rather than sepals or tepals like other flowers like Calendula or Rose.

Calla lilies contain calcium oxalates, which can cause burning, nausea, swelling, partial dehydration, and potentially heart palpitations to attack and comma or death when ingested. Those calcium oxalates can be removed by boiling. Traditionally, boiled Calla Lilies were used as a cure for headaches and for wound care, although their use was limited. If you’re using them to make flower essences, be sure to use a method that doesn’t involved any part of the Calla Lily plant touching the water directly.


Candace Hunter

Candace Hunter is a self-taught herbalist and artist who never, ever practices on guinea pigs in part because her family and friends are generally up to the job. She is co-author of The Practical Herbalist's Herbal Folio series and author of Herbalism for the Zombie Apocalypse. She edits The Practical Herbalist website and Practical Herbalist Press publications. She has also recently entered into the field of podcasting with reckless abandon. Listen to her on Real Herbalism Radio today, see her work at, or find her on Facebook at Candace Hunter Creations.

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