Zantedeschia aethiopica, a plant that has it all

Zantedeschia aethiopica also known as Water Lily, Alcatraz, Ethiopian Ring, Cartridge, Calla Lily, Jug Flower, Patio Flower or Cala . It belongs to the Araceae family, being native to the Cape region, South Africa.

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Genus dedicated to the Italian botanist G. Zantedeschi, who lived between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries.

Characteristics of the Zantedeschia aethiopica

A lively plant that vegetates on a fleshy underground stem that sprouts every year. It reaches a height of 60 cm to 1 m.

The leaves are large, with wavy edges, lustrous, with long petioles, pointed towards the tip and a very pronounced midrib, of a bright green color.

The flowers are arranged in a spadix-like inflorescence, with a long peduncle, about 10 to 15 cm, and it is wrapped in a modified bract (spathe). The flowers are female and male.

Spathes are petal-like organs that surround the spadix, that is, the flower organ that is yellow in color.

The berries are found in the calyx which is pale yellow in color.

Zantedeschia aethiopica care

It is a species  that is used mainly in decoration, as a flower cut in bouquets, for pond edges, in flower beds and wet corners. Furthermore, as it is a semi-aquatic plant it can be grown in a pot, keeping it partially submerged in water.

It requires to be in shade or semi-shade. Although it can have a little light, since it resists hot climates.

It does well in mild climates that do not freeze. It can withstand sub-zero degrees, but if it is in a pot it is better to keep it protected.

As for the substrate, this should be normal garden, with peat, sand and organic fertilizer.

Watering must be abundant during flowering. However, it should be gradually reduced in the fall. Also, apply a little watering when the foliage appears.

The compost should be normal garden, enriched with organic fertilizer. This must be paid every 15 days in the flowering season.

It is important to place a thick mulch at the base of the plant during the winter, as long as the winter areas are dry.

It is not a plant that is affected by pests, but at times the presence of aphids could make it susceptible.

As for diseases, spots on the leaves, root rot, bacteriosis and viruses could occur.

It can be propagated by means of seeds or division of the rhizome in the spring. Do not plant it at a depth of 15 cm.

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