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Products > Zantedeschia aethiopica
 
Zantedeschia aethiopica - White Calla Lily
   

 
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Bulb
Family: Araceae (Arums)
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Flower Color: White
Bloomtime: Spring/Summer
Height: 2-4 feet
Width: 4-5 feet
Exposure: Light Shade/Part Sun
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 15-20 F
May be Poisonous  (More Info): Yes
Zantedeschia aethiopica (White Calla Lily) - A herbaceous perennial that forms a large clump of arrow-shaped leaves to 2-4 feet tall (tallest in shade) that arise from fleshy rhizomes. This species of calla can be evergreen on the coast if irrigated during summer months but is otherwise summer dormant. In colder climates they can freeze back with a frost but quickly recover. In coastal irrigated gardens flowering is often year-round or in late winter to early summer if not irrigated. The large white trumpet-shaped bract called a spathe surrounds a spike of faintly fragrant yellow flowers on a structure called a spadix that is borne atop 3 foot tall thick stalks. Plant in full coastal sun or light shade with seasonally or year round moist soil. Tolerates near coastal conditions, summer drought, wet conditions and winter cold. This plant is suitable to a dry garden as it persists in gardens without supplemental irrigation but is also useful in well-irrigated gardens or along the edge of a pond. It can also grow as a foliage plant in deep shade where it likely will not bloom. It makes an excellent cutflower that lasts a long time when cut and submerged in water. Though animals eat this plant and African endiginous people have boiled and eaten plant parts, all parts of this plant are considered poisonous because they contain microscopic, sharp calcium oxalate crystals. White Calla Lily is native to southern Africa in Lesotho, South Africa, and Swaziland and was introduced into Europe in the seventeenth centrury with records of it being in the Royal Garden in Paris in 1664. The genus is generally thought to be named for Professor Giovanni Zantedeschi (1773-1846) an Italian physician and botanist, though some sources of information note that it might be named for Francesco Zantedeschi, a 19th century Italian priest and professor of physics and philosophy in the Liceo of Venice, who conducted experiments involving the effects of light and electricity on plants.. The specific epithet aethiopica means of Ethiopian or Africa. Common names include Lily of the Nile, Calla lily, Arum Lily and in South Africa, where they are particularly abundant as Pig Lilies.  This description is based on research and observations of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in our nursery garden and in other gardens that we visit. We also incorporate comments received and appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have any additional information about this plant, particularly if they disagree with what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Zantedeschia aethiopica.
 
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