Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Zantedeschia aethiopica (L.) Spreng.

Half-hardy, evergreen clump-forming, rhizomatous perennial with glossy, arrow shaped leaves and a succession of pure white flowers in summer.  The flowers are actually very small, surrounded by a large, showy, pure white spathe.  To 1.2m.  [RHSE, CECB, Hortus]. 

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘It is very hardy, bearing our milder winters, even without shelter, but to have it flower well it is necessary to preserve it in a greenhouse, or what is still better. to aid it by the heat of the stove; by management it may be made to shew flowers in almost any month of the year. […] Has been many years common in our gardens.’  [BM t.832/1805].  Introduced to Britain in 1731.  [JD]. 

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues [B.56/1843]. 


Calla aethiopica Gaertn. (1790) = Calla palustris L.

Its specific name aethiopica and common name ‘Lily of the Nile’ are the result of a misunderstanding of its origins by Linnaeus.  Naturalised in partys of Australia, particularly in damp areas. 

Published Jan 18, 2009 - 11:54 AM | Last updated Jul 14, 2010 - 02:13 PM

Illustrated are a glossy, arrow shaped leaf and a pure white flower.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.832, 1805.

Zantedeschia aethiopica (L.) Spreng. | BM t.832/1805 | BHL

Family Araceae
Region of origin

South Africa, Cape district

  • Calla aethiopica L.
  • Richardia aethiopica Spreng.
  • Richardia africana Kunth 
Common Name

Arum lily, Calla lily, Lily of the Nile

Name in the Camden Park Record

Calla Aethiopica 

Confidence level high