Zantedeschia aethiopica

Zantedeschia aethiopica bears minute yellow flowers which are shielded by a large white spathe borne on the end of a tall stem.
FLOWER COLOUR:  
AVERAGE SIZE (H) x (W): 0.6m x 0.5m
MAXIMUM SIZE (H) x (W): 0.9m x 0.6m
SPACING: 0.7m
FLOWERING TIME:   J F M A M J J A S O N D
FRUITING TIME:   J F M A M J J A S O N D

A striking perennial tuber that is used as a cut flower.  The attractive white ‘flower’ is actually a spathe which serves as a shielding bract enclosing a finger-like yellow spine which bears hundreds of minute, individual flowers.  The spine is creamy white and becomes bright yellow as the flowers mature. The spathe is displayed on a tall stem about 1.2m above the clump of lush, arrow-shaped leaves.

ECOLOGICAL BENEFITS:
This is a larval host plant to Macroglossum stellatarum (Hummingbird Hawk-moth) caterpillar.
The flowers have a faint scent which attracts bees and other pollinating insects.
A white crab spider of the family Thomisidae often visits the flower to capture insects. This spider uses its whiteness as camouflage against the spathe.


NATURAL HABITAT & DISTRIBUTION:
Marshy and swamp areas in sun or shade.

MAINTENANCE:
Low maintenance.
Keep the plant moist to ensure the leaves remain green year round.
The flowers will be more prolific and larger if more water and compost are added in summer.
Allow the plant to rest in winter.
Keep well mulched.
Cut off dead leaves and flower stalks to keep tidy - avoid pulling them out as it could damage the plant.

WATER REQUIREMENTS:
Keep moist, especially in summer.

GARDEN THEMES:
Bushveld, forest, formal, tropical, water, woodland

LANDSCAPING USES:
A versatile plant which can be planted at the edge of ponds, in marshy areas and stream banks.
The plant is used extensively in flower arrangements so will make a wonderful addition to a cut flower garden.
FLOWERS:
The minute flowers are arranged in a complex spiral pattern on a finger-like spine (spadix). The flowers are arranged with the male flower on the top section of the spadix, and the female flowers on the lower third. The spadix is creamy white and matures to bright yellow. The spine is shielded by a white spathe which appears to be the flower but is not.
FOLIAGE:
The large arrow or heart-shaped leaves vary in size depending on the growing conditions. They can be as much as 40cm long and 25cm wide. They are mid- to dark-green with a central vein and an entire margin.

The leaves contain water stomata which can discharge excess water, by a process known as "guttation". This prevents water-logging and enables arum lilies to grow in wet conditions.
FRUIT:
The green fruit capsules form at the base of the spadix (where the female flowers are positioned). The aging spathe turns green and curls up to shield the fruit. As the fruit matures, the spathe dries to reveal succulent yellow berries which entice birds which assist with the seed dispersal.
SEED:
The seed capsules each contain approximately 20 flat white seeds.

WILDLIFE GALLERY:
BUTTERFLY LARVAL HOST:
CULTIVATION:
Easily propagated from seed or by lifting and dividing the clumps from November to February.

FULL GALLERY:
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