Zantedeschia Aethiopica - Indigenous Bulb - 10 Seeds - Arum Lily

Seeds for Africa




The flowers are faintly scented and this attracts various crawling insects and bees which are responsible for pollinating the flowers. Cross pollination occurs as the anthers of each flower ripen before the ovaries. The spathe turns green after flowering and covers the ripening berries. It rots away when these are ripe and the succulent yellow berries attract birds, which are responsible for seed dispersal. The arum is found from the Western Cape through the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and into the Northern Province. It is evergreen or deciduous depending on the habitat and rainfall regime. In the Western Cape it is dormant in summer and in the summer rainfall areas it is dormant in winter. It will remain evergreen in both areas if growing in marshy conditions which remain wet all year around. Zantedeschia aethiopica grows from 0.6-1 m but may get taller in the shade. It has lush looking dark green leaves with an arrow head shape. The size varies according to the amount of shade. The flowers appear in a main flush from August to January, although there may be the odd flower at other times of the year also. The white arum forms large colonies in marshy areas ranging from the coast to an altitude of 2250m. Thus one will find them contending with humid, salt laden air at the coast and freezing, misty mountain grasslands at high altitudes. They are very versatile in the garden as a result. The leaves of the arum are very interesting in that they contain water stomata which can discharge excess water, by a process known as "guttation". This prevents water-logging and enables arum lilies to grow in wet conditions. The rhizome is large and eaten by wild pigs and porcupines and the ripe fruit enjoyed by birds. Traditionally the plant is boiled and eaten. Raw plant material causes swelling of the throat because of microscopic, sharp calcium oxalate crystals. The leaves are also traditionally used as a poultice and a treatment for headaches.

USDA Zone - 8

Season to Sow - Autumn


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