Zantedeschia (calla lily)
Zantedeschia (cala lily) is a genus of twenty-eight species of herbaceous flowering plants in the family Araceae, native to southern Africa from South Africa north to Malawi. The name of the genus was given as a tribute to Italian botanist Giovanni Zantedeschi by the German botanist Kurt Sprengel.
The Zantedeschia are rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plants growing to 1-2.5 m tall with leaves 15-45 cm long. The inflorescence is a showy white, yellow or pink spathe shaped like a funnel with a yellow, central, finger-like spadix.
The Zantedeschia species are very poisonous, capable of killing livestock and children. All parts of the plant are toxic, and produce irritation and swelling of the mouth and throat, acute vomiting and diarrhoea.
Cultivation and uses
All zantedeschias produce large, showy flowers spathes and are often grown both as ornamental plants and for cut flowers.
Zantedeschia are hardy plants, but some are more winter-hardy than others. The white Zantedeschia aethiopica and some of its relatives can survive at minimum winter temperatures below -23 °C and many others can be grown in even warmer areas where all the ground does not freeze. Some species are less hardy and can only survive winter temperatures to -12 °C. This plant must be grown as tender bulbs or houseplants in cooler areas.
Zantedeschia aethiopica (Lily of the Nile or Calla lily) is a species in the family Araceae, native to southern Africa in Lesotho, South Africa, and Swaziland. It is also commonly known as the Arum lily, although the plant is neither a true Arum (genus Arum) nor a lily (genus Lilium), but so named as the flowers resemble those of the arums.
It is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant, evergreen where rainfall and temperatures are adequate, deciduous where there is a dry season. It grows to 1–2.5 m (3-8 ft) tall, with large clumps of broad, arrow shaped dark green leaves up to 45 cm (18 in) long. The flowers are large, produced in spring, summer and autumn, with a pure white spathe up to 25 cm (10 in) and a yellow spadix up to 9000 mm (3½ in) long.
Zantedeschia aethiopica is native to southern Africa in Lesotho, South Africa, and Swaziland. It has become naturalised in Australia, particularly in Western Australia where it occurs in areas with high periodical water tables and sandy soils. The plant has been classified as toxic weed and is a declared pest.
Zantedeschia elliottiana Golden Arum Lily is a herbaceous ornamental plant in the Araceae family. A summer flowering plant with a yellow spathe surrounding a yellow spadix, occasionally followed by a spike of bright yellow berries that are attractive to birds.
Zantedeschia rehmanii Pink Arum Lily, Pink Calla is a herbaceous ornamental plant in the Araceae family. The spathe on this summer flowering Zantedeschia is mauve to rose-purple with paler margins, enclosing a yellow spadix. Its green unmarked leaves (this is a significant identifier) are semi erect and not arrow shaped as in other species. It grows to 40 cm (15in) tall and 30 cm (12in) wide. The plant is slightly frost hardy, preferring a well composted soil in an area protected from strong winds and in part shade.
Zantedeschia rehmannii - Pink Arum Lily, Pink Calla
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