Scientific name

Spathiphyllum Schott

Common names

peace lily, snow flower, white sails, spathe flower, spath



Native distribution

tropical Mexico through Central and South America, less frequently in Southeast Asia

Species cultivated

Spathiphyllum wallisii Regel

The following may also be offered; they are typically used to produce hybrids and varieties

Spathiphyllum cannifolium (Dryand. ex Sims) Schott

S. floribundum (Linden & André) N.E.Br.

S. friedrichsthalii Schott

S. grandifolium Engl.

S. patini (R.Hogg) N.E.Br.

Adventive distribution

Spathiphyllum wallisii Regel is introduced into Puerto Rico.

Weed status

not weedy


terrestrial, amphibious to rarely seasonally submerged herb; may be hemiepiphytic or epilithic

Brief description

Small to medium aroid. Rhizomes short, erect to creeping; stems compact, glabrous. Leaves in a loose basal rosette; petioles erect, subequal or longer than blade, sheathing, commonly winged below; leaf blade oblong to elliptic, or lanceolate; apex cuspidate to long-acuminate; margin entire to ± undulate; venation pinnate, curving toward apex. Inflorescence a solitary, axillary spathe and spadix, ascending or erect; peduncle subequal or longer than petiole; spathe cucullate, ovate to elliptic or oblong, apex cuspidate to long-acuminate, ± decurrent on peduncle, white, turning green in fruit; spadix sessile or usually stipitate, erect, cylilndrical, shorter than spathe, cream color, usually fragrant. Berry conical to ovoid, apex rounded or conically attenuate, green, 1-8-seeds per locule; seeds oblong, ellipsoid to ovoid, slightly curved and ± reniform.

Natural habitat

lowland primary forests, along streams, in open swampy areas, partially or periodically flooded forests

Additional comments

Spathiphyllum species are not true aquatics. S. wallisii is often used in aquaria and is often called S. tasson.