Zantedeschia aethiopica

Zantedeschia aethiopica

Common Names

White Calla Lily (english)
wit varkoor (afrikaans)
intebe (xhosa)
ihlukwe (zulu)
Common Arum Lily (english)


Genus Zantedeschia
Species aethiopica
SA Plant Number
Basionym Zantedeschia aethiopica


Zantedeschia aethiopica is a very hardy, evergreen, clump-forming perennial with big, heart-shaped leaves.

The Arum Lily inflorescence has one distinctive large, white, cone-shaped petal and a central column which carries the tiny flowers and the yellow pollen. The flowers are borne all year round and make a beautiful long-lasting cut flower (the leaves are also used in the floral industry). The flowers develop into a dense mass of small, fleshy fruits that are relished by birds.

Bees and other insects gather pollen from the flowers. Porcupines and pigs eat the underground tubers.

Used for medicinal and culinary purposes.

This popular garden plant looks great in a cottage garden, in and around a pond, or planted en masse under trees.

Zantedeschia aethiopica requires little care, and as it is clump forming and sets seed readily, it will spread. It is water-loving and so requires plenty of watering. It grows best in semi-shade on the Highveld. If grown in permanently water-logged soil, it can be planted in the sun. It can tolerate extreme cold and even snow but then goes dormant until the weather warms up. Calla Lillies respond well to plenty of compost.

Size: 30 to 45cm


Pollen rich plant:

Insects such as bees, and some beetles feed on the pollen from Zantedeschia aethiopica


Porcupines relish the tubers of the Calla Lilly


  • Stunning, bold plant for semi-shade, well-watered areas.
  • Container plant for areas that are light but receive no direct light.
  • Water feature plant that can be planted in a pot standing inside the water or in the boggy area of a pond or natural pool.

Flowers and leaves used by florists in flower arrangements


Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, Western Cape


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