Zantedeschia Aethiopica, also known as the Calla Lily, is a beautiful flowering plant that is native to South Africa. It is a member of the Araceae family and is appreciated for its large, showy flowers that come in shades of white, pink, yellow, and orange. The plant is popularly used in bridal bouquets, table arrangements, and garden beds due to its elegant appearance and long-lasting blooms.
Aside from its aesthetic value, the Calla Lily holds significance in different cultures and symbolizes different things depending on the region. In ancient Greek mythology, the flower was associated with the goddess Hera and was believed to represent purity and holiness. In Christianity, it symbolizes the resurrection and rebirth of Jesus Christ. In Victorian times, it was associated with marriage and true love, making it a popular choice for wedding ceremonies. With such rich cultural and historical symbolism attached to it, the Calla Lily has become a beloved flower worldwide, and its popularity shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.
What is Zantedeschia Aethiopica?
Zantedeschia aethiopica, also known as calla lily and arum lily, is a perennial flowering plant of the family Araceae. It is native to southern Africa in Lesotho, South Africa and Eswatini. It is sometimes grown as an ornamental garden plant. It can be found growing in coastal prairies, wetlands, or even as an invasive weed in riparian areas and pastureland. The flowers are a symbol of purity and are often used in bridal bouquets. The common name of arum lily refers to its resemblance to the genus Arum, but it is not a member of that genus. The cultivar ‘Green Goddess’ has green stripes on the spathes which allow the flowers to last longer than the original white form.
|Common Names:||Arum lily, Calla lily, Trumpet lily|
|Bloom Time:||Summer to fall|
|Flower Color:||White, cream, yellow, pink, orange, red, or green|
|Hardiness Zones:||8–11 (USDA)|
|Mature Size:||2–3 ft. tall and wide|
|Native Area:||Southern Africa|
|Plant Type:||Herbaceous perennial|
|Soil pH:||Acidic to neutral|
|Soil Type:||Sandy, loamy, clay, well-drained|
|Sun Exposure:||Full sun to partial shade|
|Botanical Name:||Zantedeschia aethiopica|
How to Grow Zantedeschia Aethiopica?
Zantedeschia Aethiopica, also known as Calla Lily or Arum Lily, is a beautiful plant that is relatively easy to care for. Here are some tips on how to grow it:
- Planting: Choose a well-draining location with partial shade. Plant in the spring or fall, 3-4 inches deep and 12-18 inches apart.
- Watering: Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. Water deeply once a week, more often during hot weather.
- Fertilizing: Feed with a balanced fertilizer every 2-3 weeks during the growing season.
- Pruning: Remove dead or yellowing leaves and spent flowers regularly to encourage new growth.
- Winter care: In colder climates, protect the plant from frost by covering it with mulch or bringing it indoors.
- Propagation: Divide clumps of bulbs every 2-3 years in the fall to promote healthy growth.
By following these tips, you should be able to grow a healthy and beautiful Zantedeschia Aethiopica plant.
Zantedeschia Aethiopica Care
In mild climates, zantedeschia grows as a perennial and can be grown outside all year round. Plant the bulbs in humus-rich potting soil and keep them cool. If you plant them in the ground, a well-draining site is ideal. They do not like to be waterlogged.
When it flowers, the zantedeschia is faintly scented and attracts bees and other crawling insects that pollinate the anthers. The flowers then ripen into succulent yellow berries that attract birds. The berries rot away and release the seeds, which are then dispersed by the birds.
Calla lilies are susceptible to fungus and bacteria, so the soil should be thoroughly washed before planting and when repotting. They are also susceptible to aphids and spider mites, which should be dealt with using pesticides. Aim to spray the plants on the underside of the leaves, as these are where the sap-sucking insects tend to hide. You may also wish to squish the insect clusters by hand.
Zantedeschia aethiopica Types
The classic calla lily is Zantedeschia aethiopica, the white flower with yellow spadix that is familiar to many gardeners. There are a number of cultivars with varying colors and textures that add interest to the garden. These herbaceous perennials grow best in moist, well drained soil in full sun and within USDA Zone 8. The flowers are faintly scented and attract crawling insects that are responsible for pollination. The spathes turn green after flowering and cover ripening berries that are then dispersed by birds.
These plants belong to the class Tracheophytes, which includes all vascular plants that use lignin and cellulose for support, have a cuticle to prevent desiccation and have a full vascular system to transport water and minerals. They are monoecious, meaning that male and female flowers appear on the same plant. The first two photos show the base of the spadix where the male flowers appear; the white object at the top is pollen that forms strings.
Zantedeschia aethiopica Meaning
The flower’s fragrance attracts crawling insects and bees that are responsible for pollination. Cross pollination results in the production of succulent yellow berries that are attractive to birds, which provide the means for seed dispersal. The plant’s spathe turns green after flowering and covers the berries until they ripen. Once the spathe rots away, the berries are revealed. The berries are edible and can be eaten raw or cooked. Zantedeschia aethiopica is native to southern Africa in Lesotho, Mozambique, South Africa, and Eswatini, but it has naturalised in coastal California and in New Zealand, where it is considered an aggressive weed of riparian areas. The cultivar ‘Green Goddess’ has a light green underside to the spathe, allowing it to hold its flowers open for longer. It is listed in the New Zealand National Pest Plant Accord, which proscribes its cultivation, sale, and distribution.
Despite their common name, calla lilies are not true lilies (Lilium) and are members of the Jack-in-the-pulpit family (Araceae). A clump-forming perennial, this species is hardy to USDA Zone 8 where it thrives in full sun to partial shade and moisture retentive soil.
Zantedeschia Aethiopica Conclusion
In summary, Zantedeschia Aethiopica is a beautiful flowering plant native to southern Africa that can be grown both indoors and outdoors. It requires regular watering, well-draining soil, and partial shade for optimal growth. While it is relatively easy to care for, it is important to note that the plant contains calcium oxalate crystals that can be harmful if ingested by pets. Overall, with proper care and attention, Zantedeschia Aethiopica can make a stunning addition to any garden or indoor space.
Calla Lily (Zantedeschia Aethiopica) FAQ
What is Zantedeschia Aethiopica?
Zantedeschia Aethiopica, commonly known as the calla lily or arum lily, is a flowering plant native to southern Africa.
What is the meaning of the name “Zantedeschia”?
The name “Zantedeschia” is derived from the Italian botanist Giovanni Zantedeschi.
What are the characteristics of Zantedeschia Aethiopica?
Zantedeschia Aethiopica has large, glossy green leaves and trumpet-shaped flowers that can come in a variety of colors, including white, yellow, pink, and purple. The plant can grow up to three feet tall and prefers moist soil and partial shade.
How do I care for Zantedeschia Aethiopica?
Zantedeschia Aethiopica requires regular watering to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged, and it benefits from a well-draining soil mix. The plant should be fertilized monthly during the growing season. It also prefers partial shade and protection from direct sunlight.
Can Zantedeschia Aethiopica be grown indoors?
Yes, Zantedeschia Aethiopica can be grown indoors as long as it receives sufficient light and humidity.
Is Zantedeschia Aethiopica toxic to pets?
Yes, Zantedeschia Aethiopica contains calcium oxalate crystals which can be toxic if ingested by pets.