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Zantedeschia aethiopica (L.) Spreng.
Arum Lily

Syst.Veg. 3:765 (1826)
Conservation Code
Not threatened
Naturalised Status
Alien to Western Australia
Name Status

Rhizomatous (tuber-like), perennial, herb, to 1 m high. Fl. white, Jul to Nov. Loam, sand. Swamps, rarely uplands.

Grazyna Paczkowska, Descriptive Catalogue, 15 August 1994


IBRA Regions
Avon Wheatbelt, Geraldton Sandplains, Jarrah Forest, Swan Coastal Plain, Warren.
IBRA Subregions
Dandaragan Plateau, Geraldton Hills, Katanning, Merredin, Northern Jarrah Forest, Perth, Southern Jarrah Forest, Warren.
IMCRA Regions
Leeuwin-Naturaliste, WA South Coast.
Local Government Areas (LGAs)
Albany, Armadale, Augusta Margaret River, Bayswater, Bunbury, Busselton, Capel, Cockburn, Cuballing, Dandaragan, Donnybrook-Balingup, Gingin, Gosnells, Kalamunda, Manjimup, Mundaring, Nannup, Nedlands, Northampton, Rockingham, Serpentine-Jarrahdale, Swan, Victoria Plains, Wanneroo, West Arthur, Williams, Wyalkatchem.

Management Notes (for the Swan NRM Region)

Alternative Names. Calla Lily, Pig Lily, Varkblom (South Africa), Lily of the Nile, Trumpet Lily, Funeral Flower.

General Biology. Growth form. Geophyte. Life form. perennial tuber/rhizome. Reproduction. Primarily by seed, occasionally offsets. Dispersal. Water, birds, foxes, stock, soil. Time to first flowering. 3-4 years. Seedbank persistence. Short term, days-1 year. Fire response. Generally survives fire.

Notes. Seed is slow to germinate and not affected by exposure to light. No reported allelopathy. All parts of the plant are toxic.

Additional information. Origin. South Africa. History of use/introduction. Garden escape. Similar exotic species. No known similar naturalised species. Superficially similar to the garden plants Arum italicum and Caladium bicolor (Elephant's Ear).

Suggested method of management and control. For the most effective control spot spray metsulfuron methyl 0.4 g/15 L of water (or 5g /ha) + 225 mL glyphosate + Pulse®. As glyphosate is non selective, only apply where there is no chance of off target application on native vegetation. Otherwise, spot spray metsulfuron methyl or chlorsulfuron 0.4 g/15 L of water ( or 5g /ha) + Pulse®. Herbicide application can send some tubers into dormancy therefore any control program needs to continue for at least five years. Apply any time between June and September. Early management prevents flowering and seed set but may miss later sprouting tubers. Read the manufacturers' labels and material safety data sheets before using herbicides. For further information consult the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to determine the status of permits for your situation or state.

Management Calendar

Calendar Type Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Comments
Dormant Y Y Y Y Y                
Active Growth           Y Y Y Y Y Y    
Flowering O O O O O O Y Y Y Y Y Y Flowering often staggered
Germination         Y Y Y Y Y        
Optimum Treatment             Y Y Y        

Legend: Y = Yes, regularly, O = Occasionally, U = Uncertain, referred by others but not confirmed.



  • Brown, K. & Brooks, K. (2001) Managing weeds in bushland brochure: Arum Lily (Zantedeschia aethiopica). Environmental Weeds Action Network URL: - Accessed December 2007.
  • Brown, K. & Brooks, K. (2002) Bushland Weeds: A Practical Guide to their Management. Environmental Weeds Action Network, Greenwood.
  • Francis, A., Griffin, S. & Wykes, B. A. (2002) Arum Lily Herbicide Experiment HMAS Stirling Garden Island. HMAS Stirling Environmental Working Paper No. 14.
  • Hussey, B.M.J., Keighery, G.J., Dodd, J., Lloyd, S.G. & Cousens, R.D. (2007) Western Weeds. A guide to the weeds of Western Australia. 2nd Edition. The Plant Protection Society of Western Australia, Victoria Park.
  • Moore, J.H. (1997) Arum Lily: a general description. In Arum Lily (Zantedeschia aethiopica), Proceedings of a workshop held at HMAS STIRLING, Garden Island, Western Australia (eds. J.K. Scott & B.J.Wykes) . CRC for Weed Management Systems, Adelaide.
  • Moore, J.H. & Hoskins, E.B. (1997) Arum Lily control in south west Western Australia. In Arum Lily (Zantedeschia aethiopica), Proceedings of a workshop held at HMAS STIRLING, Garden Island, Western Australia (eds. J.K. Scott & B.J.Wykes). CRC for Weed Management Systems, Adelaide.