Zantedeschia

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 see the Zantedeschia aethiopica page.

Representative photos of this species. Photos 1 and 2 by Mary Sue Ittner. Photos 3 and 4 by Bob Rutemoeller.

Zantedeschia aethiopica, Mary Sue IttnerZantedeschia aethiopica, Mary Sue IttnerZantedeschia aethiopica, Cederberg, Bob RutemoellerZantedeschia aethiopica, Tulbagh, Bob Rutemoeller

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 - the name means "spotted with white". It has white/creamy spathes, a few each year when young. It can be difficult to get a long enough growing season for flowering in cool climates. 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 albomaculata, Giorgio PozziZantedeschia albomaculata, Cameron McMasterZantedeschia albomaculata, Cameron McMasterZantedeschia albomaculata, Maclear, Bob Rutemoeller

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 'Black Magic', Giorgio Pozzi

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 'Blaze', Mary Sue IttnerZantedeschia 'Blaze', Mary Sue IttnerZantedeschia 'Blaze', Mary Sue IttnerZantedeschia 'Blaze', Mary Sue Ittner

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 'Cristal Blush', Giorgio Pozzi

Zantedeschia 'Flame' a medium/tall plant the spathes are yellow/orange with red stripes . Photo by Giorgio Pozzi June 2007.

Zantedeschia 'Flame', Giorgio Pozzi

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 'Golden Chalice', Giorgio Pozzi

Zantedeschia jucunda is a yellow flowered species with white spotted green leaves endemic to the summit of the Leolo Mountains in northeast South Africa. It grows in sunny, rocky, rather arid north and west facing hillsides. This species depends on good rainfall in late November for good flowering. Since it flowers better with good light, it benefits from fires and grazing by livestock which keep the cover short. Seed germination is erratic, but best after successive days of cloudy, rainy weather.


Zantedeschia 'Majestic Red ' is a tall plant with red spathes and white spots on the leaves. Photo by Giorgio Pozzi June/July 2007.

Zantedeschia 'Majestic Red', Giorgio Pozzi

Zantedeschia 'Mango' is a medium/tall plant with variegated red orange spathes and leaves with white spots. Photo by Giorgio Pozzi June 2007.

Zantedeschia 'Mango', Giorgio Pozzi

Zantedeschia 'Millennium Gold' (syn. 'Yellow Mammoth') is a hybrid with deep yellow flowers and spotted leaves. Photos taken May 2007 by Jay Yourch.

Zantedeschia 'Millennium Gold', Jay YourchZantedeschia 'Millennium Gold', 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. Graham Duncan in Grow Bulbs comments that it "has very limited horticultural merit and is not more heavily scented than Zantedeschia aethiopica". This species is deciduous and flowers in habitat July-August. Photo taken in September 2011 near Nieuwoudtville by Cameron McMaster.

Zantedeschia odorata, 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 10 mm grid by David Pilling.

Zantedeschia pentlandii, Jim ShieldsZantedeschia pentlandii, Jim ShieldsZantedeschia pentlandii, David PillingZantedeschia pentlandii, 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 'Picasso', Giorgio Pozzi

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 rehmannii, Mary Sue Ittner

Zantedeschia unknown cultivar Photographed by David Pilling at the end of September in the Lake District at 500 feet, zone 7.

Zantedeschia unknown cultivar, David Pilling

Zantedeschia unknown cultivar with an unusual double flower/triple spadix. Photographed by Wilma Brand in Johannesburg, South Africa. For discussion see PBS list.

Zantedeschia unknown cultivar double flower/triple spadix, Wilma BrandZantedeschia unknown cultivar double flower/triple spadix, Wilma BrandZantedeschia unknown cultivar double flower/triple spadix, Wilma BrandZantedeschia unknown cultivar double flower/triple spadix, Wilma BrandZantedeschia unknown cultivar double flower/triple spadix, Wilma BrandZantedeschia unknown cultivar double flower/triple spadix, Wilma Brand

22.07.2013 - 12:13  

Atholl Selkirk (Gauteng, South Africa)

I am so excited. I have hundreds of seedlings of Zantdeschia odorata. The seed was from my own bulbs. They germinated so easily in June/July. Now about 2 cm high.

22.07.2013 - 12:30  

Michael Mace (San Jose, CA, USA)

Congratulations, Atholl! Did you have to do anything special to get them to germinate? Come back later and let us know how they turn out.

22.07.2013 - 13:47  

David Pilling (Blackpool, England)

Z. odorata is a desirable species - PBS members would have liked some seed 8-) Some of my Z. aethiopica are scented. I am vaguely trying to select the trait.

17.10.2013 - 02:15  

Steve Demamiel (Albury, Australia)

G'day Guys - Do you know anywhere in Australia that I can access some of these more exotic callas? Odessa, Picasso, Golden chalice and the like? Thanks

18.10.2013 - 18:08  

David Pilling (Blackpool, England)

Steve - I'm sorry I have no idea - obvious from my location. You might try asking on the PBS list, there are some Australian members who may know.

22.11.2013 - 13:48  

Steve Demamiel (Albury, Australia)

Thanks David. I'll keep looking.

26.02.2014 - 21:10  

Belinda (Centurion, South Africa)

My Maltese Poodle chewed on a stalk of a "Zantedeschia 'Blaze'", which we have growing in our garden, and became violenltly ill.

26.02.2014 - 21:55  

Michael Mace (San Jose, CA)

Thanks for the note, Belinda. You're right -- according to Wikipedia, Zantedeschia contain a substance that causes an intense burning sensation in the mouth, and if eaten can cause serious symptoms. I hope your dog hasn't had any lingering effects.

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