Named after Giovanni Zantedeschi, Zantedeschia is a genus in the Araceae family from Southern Africa, Angola and Malawi of 8 species of rhizomatous deciduous or evergreen perennial herbs to 2.5 meters. Most are summer growing, but there are two species from the Cape Province of South Africa that are winter growing. There are also many colorful hybrids.
A Zantedeschia identification guide and growing tips was published by Veld & Flora magazine, and is reproduced here.
Zantedeschia aethiopica is found in usually seasonally damp places in a wide range of the winter rainfall area. Known as Arum lilies or Calla lilies in different parts of the world, they are a popular cut flower which can be fragrant. This species has naturalized along the Northern California coast and is found in many places, including abandoned homesteads, blooming in spring. Photos by Mary Sue Ittner show some of the naturalized plants including a clump at Salt Point State Park.
'Child's Perfection' (syn. 'Childsiana') is a dwarf selection of Zantedeschia aethiopica that grows to about 18 inches (0.5m) tall in moist soil and partial shade. The arachnids on the flowers in the second photo are Opiliones, commonly called harvestmen or daddy-long-legs. Photos taken May 2007 by Jay Yourch.
'White Giant' is a huge selection of Zantedeschia aethiopica with spotted foliage up to about 48 inches (1.2m) tall and flower spikes up to 72 inches (1.8m) tall. Photos taken June 2009 by Jay Yourch.
Zantedeschia albomaculata is a summer rainfall species from eastern southern Africa found in marshy ground on rocky or grassy mountainsides. It is a medium/tall plant with arrow shaped leaves that often have white spots. It has white/creamy spathes, a few each year when young. The first photo taken by Giorgio Pozzi June 2007 pictured below is a creamy spathe specimen growing in the wood with a hydrangea in background. Photos #2,3 were taken by Cameron McMaster. Photo #4 taken January 2010 by Bob Rutemoeller at Maclear.
Zantedeschia 'Black Magic' is a hybrid with light yellow flowers showing a black spot inside the spathe near the beginning of the spadix. Photo by Giorgio Pozzi June 2007.
Zantedeschia 'Blaze' has bright orange flowers and large leaves with white spots. Photos by Mary Sue Ittner show the flower and the leaf back lit and the whole plant.
Zantedeschia 'Cristal Blush' is a medium/tall plant with ice colour spathes, and long, narrow, plain green leaves. Photo by Giorgio Pozzi June 2007.
Zantedeschia 'Flame' a medium/tall plant the spathes are yellow/orange with red stripes . Photo by Giorgio Pozzi June 2007.
Zantedeschia 'Golden Chalice' is a hybrid from 'Callafornia Calla' nursery with many deep yellow spathes each year. It is a vigorous medium size plant that sets seeds. The picture shows the detail of a double spathe. Photo taken June 2007 by Giorgio Pozzi.
Zantedeschia 'Majestic Red ' is a tall plant with red spathes and white spots on the leaves. Photo by Giorgio Pozzi June/July 2007.
Zantedeschia 'Mango' is a medium/tall plant with variegated red orange spathes and leaves with white spots. Photo by Giorgio Pozzi June 2007.
Zantedeschia 'Millennium Gold' (syn. 'Yellow Mammoth') is a hybrid with deep yellow flowers and spotted leaves. Photos taken May 2007 by Jay Yourch.
Zantedeschia odorata is endemic to the Bokkeveld Plateau where it grows in damp places in dolerite outcrops. It grows to 75 cm high and has arrow-like leaves. It can be distinguished from the other winter rainfall species, Zantedeschia aethiopica, by having a spathe that is scarcely flaring, a smaller spadix, and a fruiting peduncle that bends over. Flowers are very fragrant with a freesia like scent. This species is deciduous and flowers in habitat July-August. Photo taken in September 2011 near Nieuwoudtville by Cameron McMaster.
Zantedeschia pentlandii comes from the Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces of South Africa where it grows in rocky places along mountain streams. The flowers are around 4 inches across and stand up to 29 inches tall. A common name is the 'Mapoch lily'. Flower photographs by Jim Shields, seedling and seed photographed on a 10mm grid by David Pilling.
Zantedeschia 'Picasso' is a medium sized plant with spotted leaves and white spathes fading to purple. It produces many spathes and offsets each year. Photo by Giorgio Pozzi June 2007.
Zantedeschia rehmannii or the pink Arum is a deciduous species found in grassland and on rocky hillsides in the summer rainfall areas (KwaZulu-Natal, Swaziland). It blooms in summer. Photo by Mary Sue Ittner of a rhizome starting into growth (laid on a grid with 1 cm. squares).
Zantedeschia unknown cultivar with an unusual double flower/triple spadix. Photographed by Wilma Brand in Johannesburg, South Africa. For discussion see PBS list.