Arum Lily


Zantedeschia aethiopica

Origin:  South and South-East Africa
Size: 1.5m H, 1.5m W
Fruits: April to July
Flowers: November to February
Best removal time: September to March

What it does

Invades gardens, waterways, irrigation ditches, pastures, bushland and roadside areas. A widespread weed of damp areas. Takes over and chokes out indigenous plants, impeding water flow. Considered poisonous to people and all animals.

How it spreads

  • by seed and vegetatively (rhizome growth or fragments)
  • by being transported by soil movement and wind
  • by dumping garden waste in bushland areas
  • as it is commonly sold at markets, nurseries, fetes and club fundraisers. Buyer Beware!


Remove by Hand

This is only practical for small clumps of the plant. It is important to remove all roots from beneath the soil. Alternatively, cut the flower heads before seeding to help prevent spreading. Brush cutting or mowing can done regularly.

Dig out

You will need to ensure that all the root material is removed when digging out. It is important to avoid dumping the soil elsewhere on your property as this will further distribute the weed. The area should be monitored for any regrowth.

Indigenous alternatives to plant

Many lily and iris alternatives exist that are indigenous to the Yarra Ranges region and would make great substitutes for the Arum Lily. Some alternatives include:

Spiny Mat Rush, Lomandra longifolia
Butterfly Flag, Diplarrena moraea

How to dispose of weeds

By disposing of environmental weeds correctly you can prevent re-infestation on your property and elsewhere.

  • Landfill (Weed Wipeout Tip vouchers available for some species).
  • Green waste bins ensure that weeds are not able to spread.
  • Woody weed stems can be bundled for green collection twice per annum.
  • Composting (excluding seed heads or species with vegetative reproduction, e.g. Wandering Trad).
  • Burning in accordance with Council and the Country Fire Authority (CFA) prescribed burning periods and regulations.
  • Recovery and transfer stations available for weed tipping are Healesville, Wesburn, Coldstream, Lysterfield and Montrose.

Using chemicals

Non-chemical treatment is often the most effective and safe option especially on smaller scale infestations.

Where chemical use is undertaken:

  • Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines when using chemicals.
  • Wear protective clothing and eyewear.
  • When purchasing your herbicide, always ask for a Materials Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) or refer to the manufacturer’s website for specific safety guidelines and information.
  • Some herbicides will kill other plants and not just the target species.
  • When used near waterways herbicides can be very poisonous to aquatic life.
  • Use chemicals sparingly and be sure that you are using the right chemical and application technique.
  • Ensure the weather conditions are suitable (e.g. minimal wind and no rain expected).
  • Apply herbicides at the correct time during the plant’s growth cycle so you get the best results.