Arum lily (Zantedeschia aethiopica)
Arum lily (also commonly named funeral lily or death lily because it was once popular as a funeral flower) is a garden escapee that is now considered an environmental weed. Arum lily is a long-lived plant that is 1-1.5 m tall. It is known for its large, white flowers and recognisable leaves. Arum lily can be toxic to humans, livestock, horses, dogs, cats and birds.
Arum lily prefers wet, sunny areas but can also grow in full shade. It is hardy and can tolerate waterlogging, fire, occasional frost and salt. It can grow in tropical and cold areas. In Helensburgh, it is common in swampy areas and along drainage lines and creeks, and has now spread into the Royal National Park and Garrawarra State Conservation Area. It spreads by seed and plant parts.
Removing large clumps of Arum lily is time consuming and requires many years of follow-up.
If you have Arum lily on your property or close-by, please do all you can to remove this invasive weed.
Grow Me Instead
Swamp lily - Crinum pedunculatum. This Australian native plant has rosettes of broad leaves and clusters of white, highly fragrant, flowers on 1m stems. Suits any soil, full sun or dappled shade and is mildly frost tolerant, it also grows well near ponds.
Grass flag - Libertia paniculata. Australian native which forms a grass like clump with masses of white flowers in spring, for moist, semi-shaded positions.
Madonna lily - Lilium candidum. Unlike most liliums, this species keeps its green leaves through the winter. It grows, on average, to one metre with white flowers. Do not confuse this with the weedy Formosan lily which is invading roadsides and bushland locally.