Zantedeschia is a genus of herbaceous flowering plants in the family Araceae, comprising about eight recognised species. It's common names are Arum lily (Z. aethiopica), calla (Z. elliottiana), and calla lily (Z. rehmannii). Zantedeschia was named after Italian botanist and physician Giovanni Zantedeschi (1773-1846) by the German botanist Kurt Sprengel (1766-1833). All species are endemic to South Africa.
Zantedeschia are rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plants, growing to 1-2.5m tall. They have large, arrow-shaped leaves of 15-45cm long, and funnel-shaped, colorful spathe of white, yellow or pink with yellow spadix. Zantedeschia are ofter grown as ornamental plants and for cut flowers which can last a long time in water. These elegant flowers is a symbol of purity and have graced many bridal bouquets. All parts of Zantedeschia are poisonous due to the presence of calcium oxalate, a chemical that forms needle-shaped crystals. The poison can cause irritation, swelling of the mouth and throat, acute vomiting and diarrhea. However the leaves are sometimes boiled and eaten. The large rhizome are eaten by wild boars and porcupines and the ripe Zantedeschia fruits are enjoyed by birds. Flowers of Zanthedeschia are faintly scented and various crawling insects and bees are attracted to the flowers, thus help in pollination.
Zantedeschia are easily grown by ripe seed; or division in spring. It can be used as marginal plants along streams, and also on the edge of a pond. Plant Zantedeschia in full sun and moisture-retentive soil. Pest and disease that are affecting Zantedeschia growth are aphids and fungal problem.