Zantedeschia aethiopica

Zantedeschia aethiopica

Common Names

White, Calla or common arum lily (english)
wit varkoor (afrikaans)
intebe (xhosa)
ihlukwe (zulu)


Genus Zantedeschia
Species aethiopica
SA Plant Number
Basionym Zantedeschia aethiopica


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

It has one distinctive large, white, cone-shaped petal that has a central column which carries the tiny flowers and the yellow pollen.

The flowers are borne all year round. It is water loving and grows best in semi-shade on the Highveld. It can tolerate extreme cold and even snow but then they go dormant until the weather warms up.

If grown in permanent water, it can be planted in the sun. This popular garden plant looks great in a cottage garden, in and around a pond or planted en masse under trees.

It also makes a beautiful, long lasting cut flower. The flowers develop into a dense mass of small, fleshy fruits that are relished by birds. Porcupine and pigs eat the underground tubers hence the common name ‘Varkoor'.

Used for medicinal and culinary purposes.

Size 30 to 45cm




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


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