(zan-te-deesh' ee-ah)

Common name: Arum Lily, Calla Lily (Calla is actually a separate genus), Lily of the Nile

Family: Araceae (Arum)

Height x width: 2-3' x 2'

Growth habit: clumping, rhizomatous, upright

Growth rate: rapid

Foliage: sagittate (arrow-shaped) 12-18" long, arising on long stalks directly from the base (no stems on this plant), dark green, variously marked

Flowers: spathe and spadix 4-10" long, variously colored depending on plant, on upright thick stalks directly from the base on scapes (leafless stalks)

Hardiness: USDA zones 9-10

Soil: moist, organic, to marginal aquatic

Light: part shade, tolerates sun especially in the north

Pests and Problems: few, sometimes fungi, aphids especially indoors; Erwinia soft rot bacteria of rhizomes (avoid by well-drained soils); Japanese beetles in flowers

Landscape habit, uses: massed, containers, accent, cut flower, water or bog gardens

Other interest: used extensively as a commercial cut flower, especially the white aethiopica for weddings and funerals; native to moist soils and wetlands of southern and eastern Africa, naturalized extensively in New Zealand; sap may irritate skin or cause discomfort if ingested; genus named in honor of the Italian botanist and physician Giovanni Zantedeschi

Other culture: as a marginal aquatic place up to one foot deep in baskets; dig and store dry indoors overwinter in cold climates, similar to gladiolus

Propagation: division, cormel offsets, seed

Species: of the 6 species in the genus, the following are most common for garden use

Cultivars: often found in trade as species, but the following are the more common cultivars; those marked (A) of aethiopica and more popular in the UK
Cultivar flowers other
'Black Magic' yellow, black base inside  
'Cameo' peach, darker inside  
'Crowborough' (A) white, 4-6" long RHS award
'Flame' opens yellow, turns red  
'Little Gem' white, 12-18" tall, fragrant good for containers, from 1890
'Green Goddess' (A) bright green, white centers RHS award
'Pink Persuasion' rosy pink, yellowish tints large flowers
'Sunrise Mix' mix of all above 2-2.5 ft. tall, from Brown family

©Authored by Dr. Leonard Perry, Professor, University of Vermont as part of PSS123 course.

Return to  Perry's Perennial Pages | HGPO course | PSS123 course