© RHS/Joanna Kossak



Common name: Arum lily, calla lily

These striking plants have large fluted, scrolled flowers, usually richly coloured or pure white. Some are hardy, while others need to be kept frost free. They are ideal for adding tropical summer colour to borders, containers and your home.


Zantedeschias are bold and exotic-looking. Hardy types (arum lilies) have large, elegant white flowers that stand on tall stems above lush, glossy leaves. Tender types (calla lilies) are smaller, but their flowers come in a wide choice of vibrant tropical colours.


They thrive in damp soil, in sun or partial shade, in containers or in the ground. They like a warm, sheltered spot, and most need to be kept frost free. Some also enjoy a bright spot in our homes.


Tender calla lilies can’t tolerate frost. Even hardy arum lilies may struggle in harsh weather, so give them winter protection in all but the mildest locations. Don’t let the soil dry out during the growing season.

Did you know?

Zantedeschias produce scrolled, trumpet- or chalice-shaped flowers. Botanically these are called spathes, and are formed from a single petal-like bract. In the centre is a yellow finger-like spadix, which carries the true (but tiny) flowers. When pollinated, these develop into pointed red or orange berries.

Growing guide

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