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Re: everbloooming calla lilies

In a message dated 1/13/03 7:36:47 PM Eastern Standard Time, 
tchessie@yahoo.com writes:

> "Zantedeschia aethiopica grows from 0.6-1 m but may get taller in the shade.
> It has lush looking dark green leaves with an arrow head shape. The size
> varies according to the amount of shade. The flowers appear in a main flush
> from August to January, although there may be the odd flower at other times
> of
> the year also. "

This is an evergreen and everblooming species grown indoors.  I don't know 
where the original questioned was posted from so I say in a container.  Here 
under glass it becomes a huge plant ( over four feet ) and blooms from time 
to time all year around.  Z. aethiopica has a smaller form called Z. 
aethiopica 'Childsiana' which is a better container plant as it is the same 
plant but much smaller, a dwarf form.

Most of what is purchased in catalogs will be hybrid forms so the culture 
will follow whatever is in the mix. They go dormant here and ultimately have 
a very short bloom period for the trouble.  They sure are pretty in catalog 

My sister lives in the West Palm Beach area of Florida where these plants 
grow outdoors.  They are by origin swampy land plants and are called pig 
lilies in Africa.   I don't know how far North one can go with outdoor 
planting but along the Gulf coast it probably works.  It is not easy to find 
other species and since they grow so large it is for you very southern 
gardeners outdoors.  

I have bought Childsiana twice and both times it was the species.  If you are 
buying this plant and hope to have a species or a selection of a species it 
may take a few times before you get the correct plant.

Aethopica will grow in a sunny winter window in a large, mean large as in 
huge, container set in a dish of water.  One look down into the flower sort 
of hooks one, a beautiful silky white cone.  We have given ours away to a 
friend with more space or who thinks he has more space as gardeners think, 
the space expands before your eyes and more plants than can be accommodated 
always arrive.  I will buy Childsiana one more time, I am sure, and hope to 
get the right plant.

Claire Peplowski
NYS z4

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