Zantedeschia aethiopica

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.

Zantedeschia aethiopica, Mary Sue IttnerZantedeschia aethiopica, Mary Sue IttnerZantedeschia aethiopica, Salt Point Park, Mary Sue Ittner

Habitat pictures taken by Mary Sue Ittner and Bob Rutemoeller near Brackenfell, in the Cederberg, and near Tulbagh 2006.

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

'Child's Perfection' (syn. 'Childsiana') is a dwarf selection of Zantedeschia aethiopica that grows to about 18 inches (0.5 m) 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.

Zantedeschia aethiopica 'Child's Perfection', Jay YourchZantedeschia aethiopica 'Child's Perfection', Jay YourchZantedeschia aethiopica 'Child's Perfection', Jay Yourch

'Green Goddess' is a variety with green tipped leaves. Photo from Janos Agoston.

Zantedeschia aethiopica 'Green Goddess', Janos Agoston

'Rod's Red' is a selection from Rod Saunders in South Africa. Photo by Mary Sue Ittner.

Zantedeschia aethiopica, Rod's Red, Mary Sue Ittner

'White Giant' is a huge selection of Zantedeschia aethiopica with spotted foliage up to about 48 inches (1.2 m) tall and flower spikes up to 72 inches (1.8 m) tall. Photos taken June 2009 by Jay Yourch.

Zantedeschia aethiopica 'White Giant', Jay YourchZantedeschia aethiopica 'White Giant', Jay Yourch

Plants exhibit guttation. Guttation (from the latin gutta - speck, spot or drop) is the production of water droplets from plant leaves. First photo by Philip Turner shows a pot plant with droplets of water on its leaves; so much water was shed this way that he called it a "puddle plant" (it is probably 'Green Goddess'). Third photo by David Pilling of Zantedeschia aethiopica with water droplets on the ends of the leaves after four hours standing in a saucer of water.

Zantedeschia 'puddle plant', Philip TurnerZantedeschia 'puddle plant', Philip TurnerZantedeschia aethiopica guttation 30th August 2013, David Pilling

The time lapse video by David Pilling shows a leaf tip of Zantedeschia aethiopica for about six hours (one frame every 50 seconds) after the plant was put in a pot of water.

Photographs by David Pilling. The first two show the roots; it is easy to remove a section and grow a new plant. The last photo shows developing flowers.

Zantedeschia aethiopica roots, David PillingZantedeschia aethiopica roots, David PillingZantedeschia flowers, 20th June 2013, David Pilling

The next two photos show the base of the spadix; the white objects are female flowers (the genus is monoecious with separate male and female flowers). The white material near the top of the spadix is pollen which emerges from the male flowers and forms strings; the last photograph is about 0.5 mm wide. As the pollen is removed more appears to replace it. The pollen photos are of the same flower as the first two photos but a week later, showing how the spadix color changes.

Zantedeschia aethiopica female flowers, David PillingZantedeschia aethiopica female flowers, David PillingZantedeschia aethiopica pollen, David PillingZantedeschia aethiopica pollen, David PillingZantedeschia aethiopica pollen, David PillingZantedeschia aethiopica pollen, David Pilling

When pollinated each of the female flowers will produce a seed pod; their development can be seen in the photographs. What looks like a large white petal is a bract (modified leaf), as the seeds develop it partially dies back and wraps around the seeds protecting them as captured in the second photo. The last two photos show the seed head ripening; the coin is around an inch in diameter.

Zantedeschia aethiopica, David PillingZantedeschia aethiopica, David PillingZantedeschia aethiopica seed head, David PillingZantedeschia aethiopica seed head, David Pilling

Photos of seed pods, a seed pod and the seed it contained, and washed seed; all on a 10 mm grid. Fifty seed pods were produced from the seed head shown above. Photograph four shows how the seeds are packed in a seed pod.

Zantedeschia aethiopica seed pods, David PillingZantedeschia aethiopica seeds and seed pod, David PillingZantedeschia aethiopica seeds, David PillingZantedeschia aethiopica seeds, David Pilling

Some of the seeds in the first three photographs above were put in a zip seal bag with moist kitchen paper on the 8th October 2012, kept at room temperature 65-70 °F and started to germinate on the 6th November; the final photo shows the seedlings in a 2" square pot on the 4th December.

Zantedeschia aethiopica germinating seeds, David PillingZantedeschia aethiopica germinating seeds, David PillingZantedeschia aethiopica seedlings, David Pilling

Almost all the photos in this section are of the same flower stem, they cover a period from the first of June until the seeds were ripe at the start of October.

The time it takes to get a flowering plant from seed varies, with a sufficiently vigorous seedling in ideal conditions it is possible in as little as six months; other specimens may take a few years. A factor is if the plants can be kept growing through the winter; foliage is very sensitive to frost and will easily be killed, the roots can also be killed by frost.


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Page last modified on September 10, 2018, at 05:36 PM