Zantedeschia aethiopica (Arum Lily)

Scientific Name

Zantedeschia aethiopica (L.) Spreng.

Common Names

Arum Lily, Common Arum Lily, African Lily, Altar Lily, Calla Lily, Egyptian Lily, Lily of the Nile, Trumpet Lily, White Arum Lily


Calla aethiopica (basionym), Arodes aethiopicum, Calla ambigua, Calla moschata, Colocasia aethiopica, Otosma aethiopica, Pseudohomalomena pastoensis, Richardia aethiopica, Richardia africana

Scientific Classification

Family: Araceae
Subfamily: Aroideae
Tribe: Zantedeschieae
Genus: Zantedeschia


Color: White
Bloom Time: Spring, summer and autumn


Zantedeschia aethiopica is a rhizomatous perennial plant, up to 3.3 feet (1 m) tall, evergreen where rainfall and temperatures are adequate, deciduous where there is a dry season. The leaves are erect, long-stalked, dark glossy green, arrow-shaped, and up to 16 inches (40 cm) long. The flowers are funnel-shaped, white, spathes up to 10 inches (25 cm) long, with yellow spadices. They appear in spring, summer, and autumn.

Zantedeschia aethiopica - Arum Lily
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USDA hardiness zone 8a to 11b: from 10 °F (−12.2 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

It is easy to grow Calla Lilies. These plants do not generally require too much attention. Proper planting and location are the only important things to consider when growing Calla Lilies. Care of them requires that they are planted in loose, well-drained soil. They prefer to be located in full sun or partial shade in warmer climates. Plants are typically planted in the spring. However, wait until the threat of frost has passed, and the soil has warmed sufficiently before planting.

They should be planted rather deep, about 4 inches (10 cm) for greater results, and spaced approximately a foot apart. Once planted, the area should be watered well. Calla Lilies enjoy being kept moist and will also benefit from a monthly dose of fertilizer throughout the growing season.

As with planting, there's not too much required for the care of Calla Lilies other than keeping them watered and fertilized. An adequate layer of mulch around the plants will help keep the area moist and free of weeds. They require a dormant period once flowering has ceased. During this time, you should refrain from watering as much to allow the plant to die back. See more at How to Grow and Care for Calla Lilies.


Native to southern Africa in Lesotho, South Africa, and Swaziland.


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