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Products > Zantedeschia aethiopica 'Green Goddess'
Zantedeschia aethiopica 'Green Goddess' - Green Calla Lily
Image of Zantedeschia aethiopica 'Green Goddess'
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Bulb/Tuber/Rhizome etc.
Family: Araceae (Arums)
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Flower Color: Greenish White
Bloomtime: Spring/Summer
Synonyms: [Z. aethiopica 'Mint Julep'
Height: 2-4 feet
Width: 4-5 feet
Exposure: Light Shade/Part Sun
Irrigation (H2O Info): High Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 15-20 F
May be Poisonous  (More Info): Yes
Zantedeschia aethiopica 'Green Goddess' (Green Calla Lily) - A herbaceous perennial that forms a large clump of arrow-shaped leaves to 3-5 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 typical species produces a large white trumpet-shaped bract called a spathe that surrounds a spike of faintly fragrant yellow flowers on a structure called a spadix that is borne atop 3-foot-tall thick stalks but with 'Green Goddess' the white spathe is generously mottled with green from the middle up and near the tip is entirely green.

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. It can freeze back with a frost but quickly recovers and is suitable to a dry garden as it persists as a summer dormant plant in cool coastal gardens without supplemental irrigation but is also useful in well-irrigated gardens or along the edge of a pond where it can remain more evergreen. It can also grow as a foliage plant in deep shade where it likely will not bloom as much. Flowers and leaves are excellent for use in arrangement that lasts a long time when cut and submerged in water. Though animals eat this plant and African indigenous people have boiled and eaten plant parts, all parts of this plant are considered poisonous because they contain microscopic, sharp calcium oxalate crystals.

Zantedeschia aethiopica is native to South Africa in Western Cape through the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and into the Northern Province and was introduced into Europe in the seventeenth century 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. This plant is also sometimes called Zantedeschia aethiopica 'Mint Julep'.

We first received this plant from animal trainer and plantsman Jim Prine and put it into production in 1988. Though we continue to propagate this plant vegetatively we also get seedlings in the garden from it that have the green mottled spathe. 

This information about Zantedeschia aethiopica 'Green Goddess' displayed on this web page is based on research we have conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations we have made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens visited, as well how our crops have performed in containers in the nursery field. Where appropriate, we will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share cultural information that would aid others in growing this plant.