(L.) Spreng., 1826
Zantedeschia aethiopica (common names calla lily, arum lily; a.k.a. varkoor, an Afrikaans name meaning 'pig's ear') is a species in the family Araceae, native to southern Africa in Lesotho, South Africa, and Swaziland.
It is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant, evergreen where rainfall and temperatures are adequate, deciduous where there is a dry season. Its preferred habitat is in streams and ponds or on the banks. It grows to 0.6–1 m (2–3 ft) tall, with large clumps of broad, arrow shaped dark green leaves up to 45 cm (18 in) long. The Inflorescences are large, produced in spring, summer and autumn, with a pure white spathe up to 25 cm (10 in) and a yellow spadix up to 90 mm (3½ in) long.
Distribution and habitat 
Z. aethiopica is native to southern and east Africa in Lesotho, South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya and Madeira. It has become naturalised in Australia, particularly in Western Australia where it occurs in areas with high periodical water tables and sandy soils, and has been classified as a toxic weed and pest.
Cultivation and use 
A number of cultivars have been selected for use as ornamental plants. 'Crowborough' is a more cold tolerant cultivar growing to 90 cm (36 in) tall, suited to cool climates such as the British Isles and north-western United States. 'Green Goddess' has green stripes on the spathes. 'White Sail', growing to 90 cm tall, has a very broad spathe. 'Red Desire' has a red instead of yellow spadix and appears to be rare. 'Pink Mist' has a pinkish base to the spathe.
In order to introduce colours to the large white calla Lilies just like the many colour varieties available with the dwarf summer calla Lilies, attempts to hybridise Z. aeithiopica × Z. elliotiana have resulted in albino progenies, which are non-viable.
It has been cultivated for the Easter floral trade since the early 20th century; hence the (ambiguous) name "Easter lily", common in Britain and Ireland. It has become an important symbol of Irish republicanism and nationalism since 1926 to commemorate the fallen of Easter 1916 and onwards.
The cultivar 'Green Goddess' is listed on the New Zealand National Pest Plant Accord preventing its sale, cultivation and distribution.
- Germplasm Resources Information Network: Zantedeschia aethiopica
- Huxley, A., ed. (1992). New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. Macmillan ISBN 0-333-47494-5.
- Poisonous Plants of North Carolina Retrieved on 8-2-2009
- "Arum Lily". Weeds Australia Weed identification. Retrieved 2008-04-23.
- "Arum lily (Zantedeschia aethiopica)". Declared plant in Western Australia. Retrieved 2008-04-23. Dept Agriculture and Food, Western Australia
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