or Calla lily
; syn. Calla aethiopica L., Richardia
africana Kunth, Richardia
aethiopica (L.) Spreng., Colocasia
aethiopica (L.) Spreng. ex Link) is a species in the
family Araceae, native to southern Africa in Lesotho, South Africa, and Swaziland.
It is also commonly known as the
, although the plant is neither a true
Arum (genus Arum
) nor a lily (genus
), but so named as the flowers
resemble those of the arums.
It is an important symbol of Irish
Inflorescence and spathe
It is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial
where rainfall and
temperatures are adequate, deciduous
there is a dry season
. It grows to 0.6-1
m (2-3 ft) tall, with large clumps of broad, arrow shaped dark
up to 45 cm (18 in) long. The
are large, produced in
spring, summer and autumn, with a pure white spathe
up to 25 cm (10 in) and a yellow spadix
up to 90 mm (3½ in) long.
Zantedeschia is highly toxic and may be fatal if eaten. Ingestion
may cause a severe burning sensation and swelling of lips, tongue,
and throat; stomach pain and diarrhea is possible.
Distribution and habitat
Zantedeschia aethiopica is native to
southern Africa in Lesotho, South Africa, and Swaziland. It has become naturalised in Australia, particularly in Western
Australia where it
occurs in areas with high periodical water tables and sandy
The plant has been classified as toxic weed and is a
A number of cultivars
have been selected
for use as ornamental plants
'Crowborough' is a more cold tolerant
cultivar growing to 90 cm (36 in) tall, suited to cool
climates such as the British Isles and north-western United States.
'Green Goddess' has green stripes on the
spathes. 'White Sail', growing to 90 cm tall, has a very broad
spathe. 'Red Desire' has a red instead of yellow spadix and appears
to be rare. 'Pink Mist' has a pinkish base to the spathe. It is
said 'Pink Mist' is very difficult to grow.
In order to introduce colours to the large white Calla Lillies just
like the many colour varieties available with the dwarf summer
Calla Lillies, attempts to hybridise Zantedeschia aeithiopica x
Zantedeschia elliotiana have resulted in albino progenies, which
- Germplasm Resources Information Network: Zantedeschia aethiopica
- Huxley, A., ed. (1992). New RHS Dictionary of
Gardening. Macmillan ISBN 0-333-47494-5.
- Poisonous Plants of North Carolina Retrieved on
Agriculture and Food, Western Australia
- Botanicas Annuals & Perennials, Random House,
Sydney, 2005, ISBN 0091838096
Image:Zantedeschia aethiopica (arum).JPG|Emerging leaf
inflorescenceImage:Funchal - Zantedeschia aethiopica IMG