Scientific: Zantedeschia aethiopica
Common: calla lily, arum lily, varkoor (meaning 'pig's ear')
Family: Araceae
Origin: southern Africa from South Africa north to Malawi

Pronounciation: Zan-te-DESH-ee-a ae-thee-o-PEE-ca

Hardiness zones
13 (with protection, 14-24
USDA 9 (with significant protection)-11

Landscape Use: When in flower, calla lily is a strong visual accent for shaded mesic entryways and bright mesic atriums with indirect natural light, potted gift plant, novelty. One seems to find calla lily always growing in Grandma's garden!

Form & Character: Upright and slightly spreading herbaceous evergreen, tender, wet.

Growth Habit: Moderately upright and spreading to 3 feet high with equal spread, basally clumping by underground rhizomes. Generally dormant during late summer through fall.

Foliage/texture: Elongated, tender, succulent vibrant green lanceolate leaves to 12 to 18 inches long having stout fleshy petioles (stalks) from the ground; coarse texture.

Flowers & fruits: Singular flowers borne of thich stalks, spathe is usually pure white with a stout yellow spadix.

Seasonal color: Flowers in spring.

Temperature: Extremely sensitive to the desert summer high heat above 100oF and the dry air.

Light: In Phoenix, shade to brief limited sun from east exposures only.

Soil: In Phoenix, calla lily needs a rich organic amended soil that is well drained. Calla lily is highly salt sensitive. Calla lily has a relatively high nitrient requirement. During the growing season use with dilute acid-forming liquid fertilizer or controlled-release fertilizer according to label instructions. Do not fertilizer during late summer to fall.

Watering: Irrigate regularly and frequently to keep soils evenly moist.

Pruning: Remove spent flower stalks and senescent leaves.

Propagation: Seed and division of rhizomes.

Disease and pests: None in Phoenix. In coastal California, beware of the dreaded brown snail!

Additional comments: Calla lily is a highly desirable plant that has gained much attention by horticulturist breeders. There are many named cultivars and hybrids with flower colors ranging from white to yellow, salmon pink, to wine red.