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A picture of a Common Arum Lily

Common Arum Lily

Zantedeschia aethiopica

Also known as

White Arum Lily, Wit Varkoor (Afr.), Intebe (Xhosa), Ihlukwe (Zulu), White arum lily, Lily-of-the-Nile, Pig Lily, Trumpet Lily, Arum Lily

Funchal - Zantedeschia aethiopica IMG 1904 by Hedwig Storch (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Full Sun
Easy care
Frequent watering
Frost Hardy


USDA zone


Minimum temperature

Expected size








5 years to reach maturity


  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has a mild fragrance

More images of Common Arum Lily

Two white Zantedeschia aethiopica flowers and some green leaves in a pot
A white Zantedeschia aethiopica flower with green leaves

Some Zantedeschia aethiopica plants in a garden with green leaves
A photo of Common Arum Lily
A photo of Common Arum Lily

Common Arum Lily Overview

Zantedeschia aethiopica is also known by the names Arum Lily and Calla Lily, amongst others. It is a semi-evergreen perennial from the Araceae family. Arum Lilies are a common garden plant that is believed to be a symbol of purity. The striking flower is creamy-white in colour, cup-shaped with tiny yellow flowers on the spadix that rises like a column out of the cup. It prefers moist to wet soil conditions, grow in full sun or partial shade. Traditionally used as a medicine to treat headaches when boiled. If eaten raw, it can cause swelling of the throat. ZA Distribution: Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, Western Cape.

Common problems with Common Arum Lily

Generally considered to be disease-free. Aphids will target the flowers.

Common Arum Lily Companion Plants


How to harvest Common Arum Lily

The fruit is ripe when yellow/orange and soft (for propagation).

How to propagate Common Arum Lily


Remove seeds with gloves when fruits have ripened. Dry seeds before sowing. Sowing time- Spring; Spacing- 500mm; Sowing depth- 5cm deep


Divide fleshy parts of rootstock during dormancy. (late Winter of early Spring) Plant during spring to a depth of 5 cm. Allow ample space between plantings.

Special features of Common Arum Lily

Attracts birds

Birds are attracted by the ripened berries. Birds are responsible for dispersing the seeds.

Attracts useful insects


Attractive leaves

Attractive flowers

Wet sites

Other uses of Common Arum Lily

Decorative garden plant and cut flower.


Some traditional uses.


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