Calla Being moisture loving plants, white calla lilies

Calla lilies are popular ornamental plants which are cultivated for their colorful blooms and silky foliage. Two species of calla lilies viz., Zantedeschia aethiopica (white blooms) and Z. elliottiana (coloured blooms) are of commercial importance and used both as flowering potted plants as well as cut flowers. The leaves are very striking and used in floral arrangements. Being moisture loving plants, white calla lilies are often used in landscape along bog gardens and moist borders. Presently, all the cultivars of calla lily in trade are introduced and subsequently mass multiplied through tissue culture. CSIR-IHBT initiated breeding programme on calla lily to develop indigenous varieties to save valuable foreign exchange being spent in the form of royalty and cost of planting material. The cultivar Him Sumukh (CSIR-IHBT-CL-Y-1) of Zantedeschia elliottiana has been developed by CSIR-Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology through hybridization and selection approach. The parental genotypes CSIR-IHBT-CL-ZE-1 (light yellow coloured) and CSIR-IHBT-CL-ZE-2 (Red purple coloured) were crossed and variable colours of calla lilies were obtained in the progenies which were morphologically characterized for floral traits. The selection was made for its unique cylindrical trumpet flower shape and attractive bright yellow colour. These selections were evaluated for two years with respect to flower production potential and other agronomic attributes viz., flower stalk length (88.4 cm), stalk diameter (8.6 mm), leaf size (25.4 x 17.3 cm) and numbers (20.3), plant height (124.5 cm), number of flowers per plant (3.3) and number of shoots (4.6) under protected conditions.

The cultivar Him Shweta (CSIR-IHBT-CL-W-1) of Zantedeschia aethiopica has been developed for flower shape and white colour. The two parental genotypes CSIR-IHBT-CL-ZA-1 and CSIR-IHBT-CL-ZA-2 were hybridized. Variable floral shapes of calla lilies were obtained in the progenies which were evaluated for agronomic traits under protected and field conditions. The evaluation of selections was done for two years with respect to flower production and agronomic parameters viz. flower stalk length (90.3 cm), stalk diameter (10.2 mm), leaf size (20.7 x 11.4 cm) and numbers (33), plant height (62.2 cm), number of flowers per plant (6.7) and number of shoots (10.3) under protected conditions. 

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