Weed Identification

Australia > > Arum Lily

Arum Lily

Zantedeschia aethiopica

Family: Araceae.

Form: Herb

Origin: Native of South Africa.

Flowers/Seedhead: Flower stem about as high as the tops of the leaves. Upper half to three quarters of flowerspike (spadix) is male and lower part female. Flowers late winter to summer.

Description: Robust clump-forming, perennial herb to 1.5 m high. Plants with tuberous underground stems (rhizomes) and fleshy white roots. Leaves with blade 1550 cm long and 825 cm wide, on fleshy stalks 40110 cm long. Fruit green or yellow, about 1 cm wide; seeds yellow-orange, about 3 mm wide.

Distinguishing features: Distinguished by dark green shiny leaves that are arrow-shaped to ovate with a heart-shaped base, and have main veins the same colour as the rest of the leaves; showy white funnel-shaped part of inflorescence (spathe) 1025 cm long surrounding spike of yellow flowers.

Dispersal: Spread by seed and movement of rhizomes.

Leaves arrow-shaped on long stalks

Notes: A common garden plant toxic to stock and humans with fatalities in both recorded. Naturalised on damp land and stream banks in temperate Australia. Thrives on sandy soil with a periodic high water table. A serious weed along creek lines and in wet areas of south western Western Australia. Frequently sold in the cut flower trade. Seeds germinate readily, but do not remain viable from year to year.


    Noxious Weeds of Australia. W. Parsons and E. Cuthbertson, 1992, pages 4143. Flora of NSW. G. Harden (ed), Vol. 4, 1993, pages3233. Flora of Victoria. N. Walsh and T. Entwisle (eds), Vol. 2, 1994, pages167168. Western Weeds A Guide to the Weeds of Western Australia. B. Hussey et al., 1997, page 2021.

White bract encloses small
yellow flower

Clustered fruit at
base of spadix

Invading neglected land near Perth, WA

This weed has been included in the WEEDeck field guide as card H10.
More information about WEEDeck is available from Sainty & Associates Pty. Ltd.

It has also been included in the 'Jumping the Garden Fence' report (WWF-Australia PDF - 1.19mb) which examines the impact of invasive garden plants on Australian agricultural land and natural ecosystems.


Australia > > Arum Lily


National Weeds Strategy
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Email: jthorp@weeds.org.au

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