ARUM LILY

GIANT WHITE ARUM LILY, EASTER LILY

Zantedeschia aethiopica

Arum Family [Araceae]  

Flowers:
month8apr month8april month8may month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug

Berries: berryZpossible        berryZgreen berryZorange  (highly poisonous)
berry8aug berry8sep berry8sept berry8oct berry8nov

status
statusZalien
flower
flower8white
inner
inner8yellow
morph
morph8asymmetric
petals
petalsZ1
stem
stem8round
toxicity
toxicityZlowish

24th June 2010, Leeds & Liverpool canal, Burscough Bridge. Photo: © RWD
The single white 'petal' is actually a spathe, which curls around the yellow spadix in the centre.


24th June 2010, Leeds & Liverpool canal, Burscough Bridge. Photo: © RWD
The broadly-oval leaves are crinkled and pointed.


24th June 2010, Leeds & Liverpool canal, Burscough Bridge. Photo: © RWD
The yellow spadix in the centre is actually multitudinous minute flowers arranged in a spiral.


24th June 2010, Leeds & Liverpool canal, Burscough Bridge. Photo: © RWD
The upper majority of the upper part of the spadix contains the male flowers; the female flowers of all Arum plants are on the lower (usually hidden) part of the spadix.


24th June 2010, Leeds & Liverpool canal, Burscough Bridge. Photo: © RWD
The Male flowers on the yellow spadix are arranged in a (not obvious) spiral. The pure brilliant whiteness of the spathe is due, not to pigments, but to tiny bubbles of air just beneath the epidermis, which presumably give it extra buoyancy to remain above water level.


4th Aug 2009, Leeds & Liverpool canal, Burscough Bridge. Photo: © RWD
The flowering stem is long, holding the funnel-shaped flower well above any water. This specimen in a non-aquatic environment.


4th Aug 2009, Leeds & Liverpool canal, Burscough Bridge. Photo: © RWD
The spathe and spadix from a birds eye viewpoint. Non-aquatic environment. It is shaped like a funnel made from a rolled-up sheet of white paper, with the corner sticking outmost.


24th June 2010, Leeds & Liverpool canal, Burscough Bridge. Photo: © RWD
The mid-green wrinkled leaves have prominent curved veins. It is possible that the leaves turn upwards to prevent the constant wetting of the top surface when in an aquatic environment.


Uniquely identifiable characteristics

Distinguishing Feature : The almost pure-white 'single-petalled flower' which is actually a spathe surrounding a long thin yellow spadix within.

Arum Lily is a popular garden plant which grows in wet mud, and in and around the edges of shallow ponds or static water. A more cold-tolerant cultivar called Crowborough is available for planting in the UK, and it is possible that the above is one of these. Its size depends upon the amount of shade it experiences; it grows larger in shadier corners. Cultivated for the easter trade, it is also known as Easter Lily. Naturally, it also grows wild. Not ubiquitous in the UK, preferring the South of England where it is warmer. It also grows naturally in other warmer parts of the World. Its scientific name infers it was first identified in Ethiopia. Being amphibious but preferring water it will grow on dry land and is evergreen if kept moist, becoming deciduous in the drier season.

Cultivars exist, some yellow, others red.

As with most Arums, Arum Lily is poisonous and contains crystals of Calcium Oxalate which causes a severe burning sensation in the mouth, swelling of the lips, tongue and throat and digestive pains. Note that this Arum is in a different genus (Zantedeschia) to the one that most other Arums belong (arum).

The flower (spadix) has a faint but pleasant smell.


  Zantedeschia aethiopica  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Araceae  

Distribution
 family8Arum family8Araceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Zantedeschia
Zantedeschia
(Altar-lily)

ARUM LILY

GIANT WHITE ARUM LILY, EASTER LILY

Zantedeschia aethiopica

Arum Family [Araceae]  

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