Zantedeschia aethiopica 'Little Gem'
This plant is not currently for sale. This is an archive page preserved for informational use.Shop Available Zantedeschia
Item #: 3694
Zones: 7a to 10b
Dormancy: Summer, Fall
Height: 12" tall
Origin: South Africa
(syn: Z. aethiopica var. minor) We found this amazing dwarf selection of calla lily on a recent trip to California. We were amazed to later find that it was named over 100 years ago. Z. 'Little Gem' is a perfect miniature version of the typical white calla. The solid green leaves form a rapidly multiplying clump to 1' tall, that is topped in spring and fall with miniature creamy white flowers (often 3-4 at one time) on short stems. This is a real cutie for the water or bog garden where size matters.
Calla lilies (Zantedeschia) are low maintenance. To keep them at their most attractive state, merely remove leaves and flowers as they fade. When grown in an area with alternating warm and cold spells in the winter, the lush growth produced by Zantedeschia aethiopica during a warm spell can be frozen by a cold spell; merely cut away the damaged foliage and they will soon put up new growth. They do not seem to be harmed by this interruption. The other commonly grown species remain dormant through the winter.
Zantedeschia aethiopica is at its best when grown in a wet site. Indeed it will thrive grown in a pot submerged in water. Its performance in a drier location will be disappointing. Please note that this applies to this one species of calla lily, Zantedeschia aethiopica. The other commonly grown species:the yellow flowered Zantedeschia elliottiana, the white flowered, white speckled leafed Zantedeschia albomaculata and the pink flowered, Zantedeschia rehmannii will thrive in soils of medium moisture level. This also applies to the hybrids between these 3 species. All are winter hardy in zone 7 so the tubers can be left in the ground over winter.All want sun for at least half a day. It is best to remove spent flowers so seeds are not produced. Named cultivars could be swamped by inferior seedlings if the seed was allowed to drop and grow.
The flowers of calla lilies are of course very showy and dramatic. They are also superb cut flowers, lasting many weeks. The broad foliage of most species is also an asset, contrasting with finer textured plants. The white speckling of some species, or the gold striping of Zantedeschia aethiopica 'African Gold' is an additional ornamental feature.