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10 June 2011

Zantedeschia aethiopica - Calla Lily



Zantedeschia aethiopica (common names Lily of the Nile, Calla lily, Easter lily, Arum lily, Varkoor, an Afrikaans name meaning pig's ear); syn. Calla aethiopica L., Richardia africana Kunth, Richardia aethiopica (L.) Spreng., Colocasia aethiopica (L.) Spreng. ex Link) is a species in the family Araceae, native to southern Africa in Lesotho, South Africa, and Swaziland.

Zantedeschia contains calcium oxalate, and ingestion of the raw plant may cause a severe burning sensation and swelling of lips, tongue, and throat; stomach pain and diarrhea is possible.

Distribution and Habitat
Zantedeschia aethiopica is native to southern Africa in Lesotho, South Africa and Swaziland.  It has become naturalised in Australia, particularly in Western Australia where it occurs in areas with high periodical water tables and sandy soils and has been classified as a toxic weed and pest.
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