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ZANTEDESCHIA

Image of Zantedeschia

Gerald L. Klingaman

Family

Araceae

Botanical Name

ZANTEDESCHIA

Plant Common Name

Calla Lily

General Description

Calla lilies comprise a group of almost 30 herbaceous species that originate from the moist, lowland environments of southern and eastern Africa. All are tender tropical perennials borne from thick, tuberous rhizomes. Height and overall habit varies from species to species, but all are clump-forming. Their leaves may be upright or curve downward and are usually either lance-shaped or arrow-shaped and solid green or spotted with translucent white spots.

Callas are best known for their unique flowers that are popular cutflowers for special occasions, like weddings. All blooms have a colorful petal-like leaf, called a spathe, which wraps around a linear floral column called a spadex. Flowers may be yellow, pink, red, orange, purple or white, depending on the species, and there are hundreds of cultivars with unique color combinations. Flowering usually occurs in summer, but can also begin in spring and extend into fall. Plants may also produce blooms in winter with proper care or if greenhouse grown.

In general, calla lilies grow best in sun or light shade and moist, rich soil or potting mix. Be sure to water liberally from late spring to fall and sparingly in winter. Most are adapted to wet soils, but will tolerate average moisture.

These attractive tropicals are well-suited to bog gardens and moist, sunny beds. Plants should be container grown where not hardy. To overwinter, simply relocate the containers to a well-ventilated, cool location and refrain from watering until spring. With proper care, all can survive as evergreen perennials where hardy.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    8 - 12

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 5, 6, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Bulb or Corm or Tuber

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Native To

    Eastern Africa, Southern Africa, South Africa

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Poorly Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam

  • Tolerances

    Wet Site

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water, Ample Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Yellow, Purple, Pink, Rose, Orange Red, Ivory

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Semi-Evergreen

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Bog Garden, Container, Mixed Border, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No