Zantedeschia aethiopica or white calla lilly has gorgeous white inflorescences.
The rhizome of most cultivars is frost resistant down to -12 ° C. The cultivar ‘Crowborough’ is the most rustic.
This plant can be grown either in the garden, in a pond, in pots on a patio or as a houseplant.
Note: All parts of the plant are toxic!
Zantedeschia aethiopica is a perennial herb of about 60 cm high, taller in the shade. It has a thick, fleshy, underground rhizome.
Leaves are evergreen, hairless and form a rosette. They are leathery, usually broadly oval with lobes at the base.
The inflorescence grows on a stem of up to 60 cm long. The spathe is about 15 cm long and 12 cm wide, ivory-white on the inside and bright green at the base and gradually white upwards on the outside. The lower part forms a wide funnel-shaped opening and the much broader upper part spreads to a curled tip. The spadix has an upper zone of about 7 cm long with small bright yellow stamens. These produce thin threads of white pollen when ripe. The lower zone is covered with yellow-green to white pistils, interspersed with mushroom-shaped sterile structures.
Fruits is a green berry that are soft and orange at the base when they are ripe.
Calla lily, florist calla, lily of the Nile, white calla lily
Arodes aethiopicum, Calla aethiopica, Calla ambigua, Calla moschata, Colocasia aethiopica, Otosma aethiopica, Pseudohomalomena pastoensis, Richardia aethiopica, Richardia africana
Zantedeschia: honoring Zantedeschi Giovanni, an Italian botanist of the 19th century
Aethiopica: latinisation of Ethiopia (Ethiopian, from Ethiopia)
South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland
Swampy places, 20-2,250 m altitude
USDA zone 8-11
Leaves die at 0 °C
Rich and humid or moist. May be planted in water at 5 cm depth.
Shade, semi-shade, light
More light promotes flowering, more shade promotes vegetative growth
Must always be moist to wet
In the garden: a good dose of organic fertilizer in spring
In pot: inorganic fertilizer every 2 weeks during the growing season
Division in spring or autumn, sowing.
- sow in humid substrate
- sow at the surface, it needs light to germinate
- 25 °C
- sow the seeds quite apart, the tubercles are big and need ample space to develop
- germination: 30-90 days
- repot when the seedlings are big enough to handle