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Products > Zantedeschia aethiopica 'Hercules'
 
Zantedeschia aethiopica 'Hercules' - Giant Calla Lily

Note: This plant is not currently for sale. This is an archive page preserved for informational use.  
Image of Zantedeschia aethiopica 'Hercules'
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Bulb/Tuber/Rhizome etc.
Family: Araceae (Arums)
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Flower Color: White
Bloomtime: Spring/Summer
Synonyms: [Z. 'Spotted White Giant']
Height: 3-5 feet
Width: <1 foot
Exposure: Light Shade/Part Sun
Irrigation (H2O Info): High Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 15-20 F
May be Poisonous  (More Info): Yes
Zantedeschia aethiopica 'Hercules'(White Giant Calla) - This is a robust herbaceous perennial that forms a large clump of very large arrow-shaped, white-spotted leaves and flowers that can reach to 6 to7 feet tall. As with other Zantedeschia aethiopica plants, the showy part of the flower is actually a bract called a spathe that surrounds the spike of fragrant yellow flowers in the center that is called a spadix.

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.

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.

We grew Zantedeschia aethiopica 'Hercules' from 1994 until the year 2000. It is very similar if not the same as another large calla calledZantedeschia aethiopica 'White Giant', which we have continued to grow since 2007. We first received 'Hercules' from garden designer Eric Nagelmann who purchased it at Lester Hawkins and Marshall Olbrich's famed Western Hills Nursery in Occidental, California. It was introduced into the California nursery trade from this nursery in the 1970s or early 80s and later sold at plant sales held at the Strybing Arboretum (now San Francisco Botanic Garden).

It is unclear whether 'Hercules' originated at Western Hills Nursery or if it came to them earlier from another source. Confusing the issue, Western Hills Nursery apparently propagated the plant both by division and from seed and sold seedling plants that lacked spots on the leaves. This has caused some to grow plants labeled Hercules that are larger than typical Zantedeschia aethiopica but have solid green colored leaves lacking any spots. Tony Avent lists both 'Hercules' and 'White Giant' in his Plant Delights Nursery catalog and has stated that 'White Giant' is the larger of the two, but he also told us that 'Hercules' has the larger leaves. The San Diego area mail order nursery Kartuz Nursery sold both the unspotted and spotted forms of the plant and choose to call the solid green one 'Hercules' and the spotted one 'Spotted White Giant' and noted that it was the one with spots on the leaves that was the clone that the San Francisco Botanical Garden grows as 'Hercules'. 

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

 
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