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Zantedeschia aethiopica (L.) Spreng.
Family Araceae
Common name: Arum Lily, Pig Lily, Calla Lily, White Arum Lily, Lily of the Nile, Egyptian Lily

Zantedeschia aethiopica (L.) Spreng. APNI*

Description: Robust clump-forming perennial herb, evergreen; stem shortly rhizomatous, subterranean.

Leaves with lamina ± sagittate, to c. 60 cm long and 30 cm wide, glabrous, leathery, glossy dark green to somewhat glaucous, tip bent downwards or curling towards back of leaf; petiole fleshy, to 1 (-1.5) m long.

Peduncle equal to or slightly longer than petioles. Spathe to c. 25 cm long, white to ivory, sometimes green in the upper third. Spadix sessile, about half as long as the spathe. Female flowers interspersed with staminodes. Stamens and staminodes yellow-orange.

Fruit irregularly globose, 5–10 mm long, orange when ripe; infructescence protected by persistent spathe base.


Flowering: mostly spring.

Distribution and occurrence: south from the Gosford district. Native of S & SE Africa.

Widely cultivated, persists around habitations or occasionally naturalised in open or semi-shaded marshy places, in wasteland, rubbish tips, abandoned habitation sites, bushland, pastures, wetlands, disturbed creeklines, stream banks, floodways, drains, gullies and irrigation ditches.
NSW subdivisions: *CC, *SC
Other Australian states: *Qld *Vic. *Tas. *W.A. *S.A.
AVH map***

Arum Lily was introduced to Australia as an ornamental plant for horticulture and has been popular in the florist trade. It is poisonous, as well as being a skin and eye irritant, to humans, livestock and pets. Especially toxic to children. Also an invasive weed with impacts on the environment, biodiversity and agriculture. See also Weeds in Australia profile compiled by P.G. Kodela (2007).

Text by A. Hay (1993); revised by P.G. Kodela (Feb. 2008).
Taxon concept: Flora of NSW 4 (1993)


APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.
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