Zantedeschia is a genus of herbaceous flowering plants in the family Araceae, and they are native to southern Africa from South Africa to Malawi. This genus was named after the Italian botanist Giovanni Zantedeschi (1773–1846). Common names given to members of this genus include – Arum Lily for Z. aethiopica, calla, and calla lily for Z. elliottiana and Z. rehmannii
All Zantedeschia plants has showy flowers and have been grown commercially as cut flowers for many years. Zantedeschia aethiopica can withstand very cold winters, down to -20degC, many of the other species prefer milder winters where the ground doesn't freeze. In cooler climates they can be grown very successfully as tender bulbs or potted up for plants around the house.
Other species of Zantedeschia include -
Z. albomaculata – a variable species, white/cream and pink to orange.
Z. elliotiana – is probably of hybrid origin.
Z. jucunda – large yellow showy flowers, rare.
Z. odorata – Somewhat resembling Z. aethiopica, rare species
Z. pentlandii – large yellow showy flowers, rare.
Z. rehmannii – pink flowered species.
The Zantedeschia are rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plants which reach a height from one to two metres tall. The leaves are showy and some varieties have leaves that are covered in spots. The flower colour varies and can be yellow, pink, purple, white, to shades of apricot/orange!
All species in the genus Zantedeschia are endemic to southern Africa. In the wild, Z. aethiopica grows in marshy areas and will go dormant when conditions are dry. Z. aethiopica is a vigorous plant and has adapted to a variety of soils. That is why this species is generally regarded as a weed in parts of Australia and most of the world.
Within the genus of Zantedeschia there are 8 species that are currently recognized, including -
Zantedeschia aethiopica (L.) Spreng. – white arum lily
Zantedeschia albomaculata (Hook.) Baill. – spotted arum lily
Zantedeschia elliottiana (W.Watson) Engl. – golden arum lily
Zantedeschia jucunda Letty
Zantedeschia odorata P.L.Perry
Zantedeschia pentlandii (R.Whyte ex W.Watson) Wittm.
Zantedeschia rehmannii Engl. – pink arum lily
Zantedeschia valida (Letty) Y.Singh