Plants in the genus Zantedeschia hail from moist soils, swamps, and lake edges in southern and East Africa. The genus is made up of six species of perennials that grow from tuberous rhizomes and produce unusual looking white or brightly colored spathes. Leaves are lance-, arrow-, or heart-shaped. Elliottiana hybrids generally have green, heart-shaped leaves with white dots and yellow spathes, while Rehmannii hybrids have lance-shaped leaves and white, pink, or dark purple spathes. Grow calla lilies in a greenhouse, as houseplants, or as summer annuals.
Noteworthy CharacteristicsUnusual white or brightly colored spathes. All parts are toxic.
CareIn the garden, grow in rich, moist soil in full sun. Z. aethiopica is a marginal aquatic and can be grown in water up to a foot deep. Indoors, grow in full light, providing ample water and regular fertilization until the flowers fade. In winter, keep only moist.
PropagationSow ripe seed at 70° to 81°F; divide in spring.
ProblemsBacterial soft rot, rhizome rot, Botrytis, rust, and virus diseases are common.