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Arum Lily

Arum Lily
Photo: Lorna Rose
Invasive Plant
Arum Lily
Zantedeschia aethiopica

This lily with white spathes around yellow flower spikes is widely used as a cut flower.  However, it is now a widespread environmental weed that can engulf gutters, streams, waterways and wetland bogs and may be toxic if eaten. It is a perennial to 1.5 metres tall with broad leaves to 1 metre long present all year. Seeds are produced in green berries inside the spathes.

The cultivar ‘Green Goddess’ is also invasive. However, the other Zantedeschia species with coloured spathes and winter-dormant tubers are safe.



  • Deliberate planting and waste dumping on public land.
  • Downstream movement of seed in water.
  • Movement of seed by birds and small mammals eating the berries.
  • Movement of rhizomes (roots) in transported soil.

Although these are popular cut flowers, the use of this plant must be discouraged for the home garden. Its spread must be stopped.

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Additional suggested alternatives: cast iron plant (Aspidistra elatior), Cunjevoi lily (Alocasia brisbanensis), Japanese iris (Iris laevigata and I. ensata)


Alternative Plants

Photo: Elwyn Swayne
Alternative Plant Clivea
Clivia miniata
Trees and Shrubs

Grown for their deep green strap-like leaves and funnel-shaped, yellow-throated, orange to red flowers in spring. A clump forming perennial to 0.5 m high that thrives in full-shade to partshade in most soils. Is drought hardy and can be grown in containers. Yellow Clivea and deep orange-red 'BelgiumHybr id' forms are also available.

New Zealand Rock Lily
Photo: © immij pty ltd
Alternative Plant New Zealand Rock Lily
Arthropodium cirrhatum 'Matapouri Bay'
Bulbous Plants

A cultivar of the New Zealand Rock Lily that grows to 1 m high by 1 m wide. The upright, broad, glaucous green foliage is a year round feature. In summer the plant is crowned with sprays of tall panicles of starry white flowers on long, slender, wiry stems held above the foliage.

Swamp Lily
Photo: Lorna Rose
Alternative Plant Swamp Lily
Crinum pedunculatum
Trees and Shrubs

This Australian native plant has rosettes of broad leaves and clusters of white, highly fragrant flowers on 1 m stems. Flowers appear from November to March. An extremely hardy specimen, it thrives in full-sun or dappled shade. It is mildly frost tolerant and can withstand poor drainage and clay soils.

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