Spathiphyllum wallisii - Peace Lily Blooming Plants
Blooming Plants

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum wallisii) - Description and Uses

Spathiphyllum is a genus of about 40 species, including among others and the Spathiphyllum wallisii or Peace Lily.

The Peace Lily is, therefore, an exceptionally widespread world-wide flower plant that embellishes both interior and exterior spaces and which in extend will be briefly discussed in the following article.

Introductory only here, at this point, is that the editorial team of ‘Kalliergeia’ has the undeniable need to state the obvious that the name Peace Lily for the Spathiphyllum is as that the Desert Storm for the Bedouin: a short joke or one of the detrimental health consequences of smoking (guns).

And stating the obvious as the etymology of the genus name will proof.

Spathiphyllum wallisii, in addition to its indoor use, is also suitable for landscaping in warm climate regions.

Spathiphyllum wallisii Flowering Plants in Garden
Spathiphyllum wallisii Flowering Plants in Garden
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Peace Lily Origin

Spathiphyllum wallisi - Map of Origin
Spathiphyllum wallisi (Peace Lily) - Map of Origin

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum wallisii) – Description and Uses

Spathiphyllum wallisii - Peace Lily the Flower of the Plant
Spathiphyllum wallisii - Flower of the Plant

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum wallisii) - Brief Description

Family: Araceae

Genus: Spathiphyllum

Scientific name: Spathiphyllum wallisii Regel

Common name: Dwarf Peace Lily, White Sails, Spathe Flower

General Characteristics

Leaf Persistence

Evergreen

Form

Shrub of Round Shape

Texture

Medium

Growth Rate

Slow

Flowering Period (Tropics)

Repeatedly throughout the year

Fruiting Period

Repeatedly throughout the year

Height

0.30-0.45 up to 0.60 m (1-1.5 up to 2 ft)

Diameter

0.30-0.45 up to 0.60 m (1-1.5 up to 2 ft)

Shapes and Colors

Leaves Shape

Ovate to Elliptic

Foliage Colour

Green

Autumn Foliage Colour

Green

Flowers Shape

Compound Spadix surrounding

Flowers Colour

White

Fruit

Berries

Plantation

Soil Type: Well-drained, sand, loam

Exposure: Half-shade, Shade

Soil pH: 5.8-7

Watering: Moderate

Hardiness: 1.7 °C (35 °F – USDA Hardiness zone 10b)

Uses

Specimen, mass planting, pots and containers interior and exterior

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum wallisii) – Description and Uses

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum wallisii) - Etymology

Etymology of the Genus Name

The name of the genus Spathiphyllum is the highly vivid Neo-Latin version of two words of Ancient Greek language, σπάθη (Indo-European root *sph₂-dʰ), means sword and ‘φύλλον’, means leave – aptly describing the special shape of the flowers. 

… Is it enough obvious that a sword can not be a Peace Lily ?

Etymology of the Species Name

The name of the species wallisii was given in honor of the German plant collector Gustav Wallis (1830-1878), who has introduced more than 1000 species of plants in Europe, including many orchids.

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum wallisii) – Description and Uses

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum wallisii) - Origin & Life Span

Origin

Spathiphyllum wallisii cradle is the tropical zone of South America, namely Colombia, where most of its natural populations, as well as Venezuela, are found. Its natural ecosystems are the shady areas of rainforests usually found in wet habitats.

Life Span

The Spathiphyllum wallisii lives for 3 to 5 years, but sometimes it is reported to be over 10 years.

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum wallisii) – Description and Uses

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum wallisii) - Morphological Elements

Spathiphyllum wallisii is a perennial, evergreen rhizomatous herbaceous flower plant of spherical shape and upright in form. Its extremely attractive foliage is symmetrical, of medium texture and density. If it is planted on the garden soil it shows remarkable spreading growth, covering spaces.

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum wallisii) – Description and Uses

Spathiphyllum wallisii Plant Rhizomes
The Rhizomes of the Plant

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum wallisii) - Botanical Description

Leaves

The leaves are large, simple, intensely green in color, which arching away from the underground rhizome. They are oval or ellipsoidal in shape, end in a acute peak and are carried on long stalks of 14 to 15 cm (5.5-6 in) in length. They are leathery and glossy, particularly decorative and have a length of between 12 and 15 cm (4.7-6 in) and a width of 6 to 8 cm (2.3-3 in).

Flowers

The Spathiphyllum wallisii flowers appears from centres of leaf clusters. They are hermaphrodite that grow in spadix inflorescence.

The spadix is erect, has a creamy color and a length of between 5 and 7 cm (2-2.5 in). The spadix of the Spathiphyllum wallisii surrounded by the the spathe, which although it looks like a large ‘petal’ flower is only one or often two bract leaves.

The spathe has an oval shape and ends at a acute peak. Its color is initially white with open green nerves and then over time it turns green. The dimensions of the spathe are 7 to 10 cm (2.5-4 in) long and 5 to 7 cm (2-2.5 in) wide.

Pollination

Pollination takes place with insects, which are attracted by the light fragrant of the flowers, which its varieties unfortunately lack.

Fruit

The fruit of Spathiphyllum wallisii is spherical in shape and is carried in a berry seed head. It is smooth, has a white color and a diameter of between 1 and 1.3 cm (0.4-0.5 in).

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum wallisii) – Description and Uses

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum wallisii) - Climate and Soil

Temperature

The Spathiphyllum wallisii, as a plant of the tropical regions, is cold intolerance. The minimum temperatures, which are also the lowest tolerance limit, range between 4 and 1.7 °C (40-35 °F). With high temperatures, Spathiphyllum wallisii‘s behavior is excellent as it does not have particular problems if it – in addition – develops in an environment with high atmospheric humidity.

Soil and pH

The Spathiphyllum wallisii grows in a variety of soil types, except heavy clay soils, provided they drain well but at the same time retain the necessary moisture. As for pH, it grows in a range of between 5.8 and 7, but it thrives in acidic to slightly acidic soils with values ranging from 5.8 to 6.5.

Exposure

Spathiphyllum wallisii grows in half-shade or full shade (the warmer the area is). Still, when grown as an indoor plant, luminous places should be selected but its direct exposure to sunlight should be avoided, as it can cause leaf burns.

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum wallisii) – Description and Uses

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum wallisii) - Pests & Diseases

Spathiphyllum wallisii generally does not face serious problems from pests and diseases. However, and this plant is not invulnerable.

Pests

The most common pests include Whiteflies, Aphids, Caterpillars, Mealybugs and Scales.

Immediately below are recorded some of the most important of them.

Various Insects
  • Eupanacra splendens
  • Frankliniella occidentalis (Western Flower Thrips)
  • Hercinothrips femoralis (Banded Greenhouse Thrips)
Scales
  • Coccus longulus (Long Brown Scale)
  • Saissetia oleae (Black Scale)
Acari
  • Tetranychus urticae (Red Spider Mite)

By the timely using of the appropriate insecticides and acaricides their treatment is satisfactory.

Diseases

Aerial Blight (Phytophthora sp.), Cylindrocladium root rot (Cylindrocladium spathiphylli) and Pythium root rot (Pythium sp.) are some of the common diseases of the plant.

Immediately below are the most important diseases of the plant recorded.

Fungi
  • Alternaria alternata (Alternaria Leaf Spot)
  • Botrytis cinerea (Grey Mould)
  • Cylindrocladium spathiphylli (Root and Petiole Rot)
  • Myrothecium roridum
  • Phytophthora sp. (Aerial Blight) 
  • Phytophthora nicotianae var. parasitica (Phytophthora Blight)
  • Pythium sp.
Bacteria
  • Pectobacterium carotovorum sub sp. carotovorum(Bacterial Leaf Rot)
Viruses
  • DMV (Dasheen Mosaic Virus)
  • INVS (Impatiens Necrotic Spot Virus)
  • TSWV (Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus)

By using the appropriate fungicides their treatment is satisfactory, while the bacteriosis is difficult to treat. For viruses, only preventive measures can be taken as they are not treated with pesticides.

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum wallisii) – Description and Uses

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum wallisii) - Toxicity & Allergenicity

Toxicity

The Peace Lily contains calcium oxalate in its tissues, which is toxic to humans and pets while the juice is irritating to the skin. It is advisable to keep it away from children and pets and wash hands thoroughly after handling it.

Allergenicity

People with sensitivity may be allergic to the pollen of the male part of the flower. The allergic reaction can manifest as rhinoconjunctivitis, asthma and urticaria, after their exposure.

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum wallisii) – Description and Uses

Spathiphyllum wallisii - Peace Lily Interior in Pot
Spathiphyllum wallisii Interior in Pot

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum wallisii) - Use

Use as an Indoor Plant

Spathiphyllum wallisii is one of the most useful plants for decorating the interior of both homes and professional spaces. But beyond the decorative, it still has a more interesting side, as it has the ability to filter, clean, indoor the air of toxins (like formaldehyde, benzene and carbon monoxide) while enriching the atmosphere with oxygen. To perform such a function requires 1 plant per 20 to 25 m2.

Use in Garden and Landscape

In areas suitable for its growth, it can be planted both on the ground and in pots – but always in half-shady and shady places.

So, it could be said that Peace Lily is being exploited:

  • As a srhub of particular interest planted alone
  • By mass planting in gardens and landscapes
  • As a ground cover plant
  • In combination with other exotic plants such as Codiaeum variegatum (Garden Croton or Variegated Croton), Caladium  (Caladiums or Elephant Ear) and Mandevilla splendens (Shining Mandevilla)

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum wallisii) - References

The references of Peace Lily are welcomed by Laurence Ferlingeti with his poem And the Arabs Asked Terrible Questions … and presented by the song Zawiya of the Arab artist from Morocco Aziz Sahmaoui and the University of Gnawa.

Play Video
  1. Bawden-Davis, J. (2007). Indoor gardening the organic way: How to create a natural and sustaining environment for your houseplants. Lanham, MD: Taylor Trade Pub.
  2. Mounika, K., Panja, B., & Saha, J. (2017). Diseases of Peace lily [Spathiphyllum sp.] caused by fungi, bacteria and viruses: A review. The Pharma Innovation Journal, 6(9), 103-106.
  3. Shry, C. L., & Reiley, H. E. (2017). Introductory horticulture.

 

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