Monday, July 8, 2013

Zantedeschia 'Flame': my favorite plant in the garden this week

My favorite plant this week isn't particularly rare, nor does it need special conditions in the garden or extra coddling to bring it into flower. In fact, it could be a perfect plant for newer gardeners who want a fabulous hit of color in their summer gardens. I've been gardening for years now, and it's still one of my favorites.

This South African hybrid has everything you could ask for in a summer plant: wonderful lush foliage with silvery spots; intensely colored flowers that develop from green through yellow to orange edges; self-supporting leaves and flowers that are a great height for the border; slowly spreading but quite controllable; and it makes a great cut flower.

I grow Zantedeschia 'Flame' in a bed with several Eryngiums, and the contrast of the yellow and orange flowers with the silvery foliage and bracts of Eryngium variifolium and this year's Eryngium giganteum is a knockout. The spots on the foliage help tie everything together.

Sometimes I just want to dive down into the center of the blossoms.

The stats on Zantedeschia 'Flame':

   • Hardy in zones 9a to 11. Mine go completely dormant, then emerge in spring.
   • 18-30" tall, slowly spreading to about 2 feet wide
   • Sun to part sun, and well-drained soil
   • Average water, though I seldom water mine in summer
   • Resistant to deer
   • Propagate by dividing; plant is sterile

Important note to those of you with children or pets: All parts of the plant are poisonous if ingested.

I got my plant about four years ago at Joy Creek Nursery in Scappoose, OR, and though I don't see it in their current catalog, it may be available at the retail nursery. I have also seen 'Flame' and other hybrids available at big box stores and general nurseries.

For more 'Favorite Plant' posts by other garden bloggers, visit the danger garden blog!


  1. What a gorgeous flower. I love the color, and the shape of calla lilies is just mesmerizing. You're right, it's like you could just dive down into it. Great foliage too.

  2. The combination with the eryngium really is awesome!! love it!

  3. What a warm & happy color! The cool sharpness of the eryngium and warm softness of the zantedeschia contrast beautifully the silver spots on the foliage echo the silver of the eryngium, too.

  4. WOW! You've blown me away with that combo...I wouldn't ever have thought to grow zantedeschia with eryngium but it's gorgeous! Of course the fact the bloom is such a beautiful orange might have something to do with it too...

  5. I like that bright orange color.

  6. It's a beauty, all right...especially in combination with the Eryngium. Bravo!

  7. I really really need to add some Zantedeschia to my garden, they do well here, and I've been missing the boat!

  8. Okay, I need to get an Eryngium now! I will not be able to give my Flame calla the appreciation it deserves until I do, after seeing that combo! You hit that one out of the ballpark, Jane!

  9. Wow. What a brilliant idea, planting your Calla next to the Eryngium. The silver color brings out the dappled calla foliage. Very nice.


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