Get Back to School with Redbubble – Shop Here! or Win Stuff Here!

ARUM LILY (Zantedeschia aethiopica) by Maree  Clarkson

Currently unavailable for purchase

Available to buy on…

ARUM LILY (Zantedeschia aethiopica) by 

W&N watercolours on Bockingford 300gsm

Wit varkoor (Afrikaans); intebe (Xhosa) ihlukwe (Zulu)
Family: Araceae (Arums, Anthurium, Caladium and Philodendron)

My Arums started flowering a couple of weeks ago and the rain we have had over the weekend will certainly give them a push-start for the rest of the summer.

The familiar Arum Lily, with its opulent and sophisticated pure white spathes which brighten up watercourses and wetlands in spring and summer, belongs to an indigenous genus which is restricted to the African continent.

The common arum is found from the Western Cape through the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and into Limpopo Province in South Africa. It is evergreen or deciduous depending on the habitat and rainfall regime. In the Western Cape it is dormant in summer and in the summer rainfall areas it is dormant in winter. It will remain evergreen in both areas if growing in marshy conditions which remain wet all year around.

Although called the arum lily, it is neither an arum (the genus Arum) nor a lily (genus Lilium). But it is associated with the lily as a symbol of purity and these elegant flowers have graced many bridal bouquets.

Now, here’s the thing… The striking arum lily “flower” is actually many tiny flowers arranged in a complex spiral pattern on the central column (spadix). The tiny flowers are arranged in male and female zones on the spadix. The top 7 cm are male flowers and the lower 1.8 cm are female. If you look through a hand-lens you may see the stringy pollen emerging from the male flowers which consist largely of anthers. The female flowers have an ovary with a short stalk above it, which is the style (where the pollen is received). The spadix is surrounded by the white or coloured spathe. The whiteness of the spathe is not caused by pigmentation, but is an optical effect produced by numerous airspaces beneath the epidermis.

The rhizome is large and eaten by wild pigs and porcupines and the ripe fruit enjoyed by birds. Traditionally in South Africa, the plant is boiled before eaten as raw plant material causes swelling of the throat because of microscopic, sharp calcium oxalate crystals. The leaves are also traditionally used as a poultice and a treatment for headaches.
Much of this information from PlantzAfrica

28th June 2013 – SOLD 1 Photographic Print – thank you to the buyer!

  1. 8th October 2011 – FEATURED in Painters Universe
  2. 12th October 2011 – FEATURED in Aquatic Flowers and Hydrangeas
  3. 15th October 2011 – FEATURED in Dutch Showcase
  4. 17th October 2011 – Placed in the TOP 10 of the challenge Aquatic Flowers and Hydrangea TRADITIONAL ART in ‘Aquatic Flowers & Hydrangeas’ – 2nd Place
  5. 3rd November 2011 – FEATURED in All Glorious Lilies
  6. 10th September 2013 – FEATURED in Gorgeous Flower Cards
  7. 11th September 2013 – FEATURED by RedBubble in EXPLORE

Greeting card for a fellow Arum-lover


arum, lily, calla, zantedeschia, lilies, flowers, watercolour, watercolor, maree clarkson, tarlton, magaliesburg, krugersdorp, gauteng, south africa, arum lily zantedeschia aethiopica, varkoor

I am a watercolorist living on my little piece of African soil in Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa. The inspiration for my art is the wonderfully rich variety of Fauna and Flora to be found throughout this beautiful country.
“There is a fine line between dreams and reality; it’s up to you to draw it.”

View Full Profile


  • Elizabeth Kendall
    Elizabeth Kendallalmost 3 years ago

    Vreeslik mooi….een van my gunsteling blomme!

  • Vreeslik baie dankie Liz!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • AuntDot
    AuntDotalmost 3 years ago

    Lovely work, Maree! I love the colors you used in the background to accent this beautiful white flower.

  • Aaah, thanks for that fav dot, I’m so pleased you like this one! I haven’t done arums for a while and just wanted to get the feel of it again.

    – Maree Clarkson

  • AndreaEL
    AndreaELalmost 3 years ago

    Stunning work Maree, so beautiful.

  • Oh thank you Andrea!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • artwhiz47
    artwhiz47almost 3 years ago

    Wonderful rendering ~ excellent colors, Maree!

  • Thank you Sheila!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Mary Sedici
    Mary Sedicialmost 3 years ago

    OCTOBER 8th 2011

    Your participation with works/votes it is greatly appreciated

  • This is really great Mary, thank you for the feature, much appreciated!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Elizabeth Kendall
    Elizabeth Kendallalmost 3 years ago

    ♪♪ Congratulations and celebrations on the feature!! ♪♪

  • Thank you Liz, nice surprise!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • DeeZ (D L Honeycutt)
    DeeZ (D L Hone...almost 3 years ago

    October 12, 2011
    (Click on banner to see all of the works featured)

  • Thank you so much for the feature Dee, much appreciated!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • ienemien
    ienemienalmost 3 years ago

    Congratulations! Gefeliciteerd!
    Congratulations with your feature, you can also find it every Sunday in
    Dutch Showcase Group Messages

    Your art and photo quality is wonderful and deserves it to be featured!
    Warm Greetings from Ien … Bye

  • Oh WOW Ien, this is so great! Thank you for the feature, much appreciated!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Elizabeth Kendall
    Elizabeth Kendallalmost 3 years ago

    Baie geluk met al die erkennings Maree!! So mooi.

  • Baie, baie dankie Liz!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Yool
    Yoolalmost 3 years ago

    Big Congratz on your feature in Dutch Showcase well deserved !!!!!!!!!!!

  • Thanks ever so much Yool!

    – Maree Clarkson

desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait