Lili perdamaian are scientifically named in Latin as Spathiphyllum kochii. Another name or synonym for Spathiphyllum kochii is Spathiphyllum lanceifolium. Internationally in English this plant is popular with the names peach lily, spathe flower or white sails.
The genus name, Spathiphyllum, consists of two words, which are spatha or spathe and phyllum which means leaf. Overall, the genus name means leafy spathe. Its popular name, peach lily, refers to the plant's symbolism of peace, purity, and healing. This can also be seen through the color of the plant which is white and is related to the white flag which is a signal of ceasefire.
The peace lily plant is known to originate from Colombia and Venezuela. In these countries the peace lily is used as a medicinal plant (Spathiphyllum Lanceifolium (Jacq.) Schott | Plants of the World Online | Kew Science, 2015). However, other sources say that peace lilies originate from Mexico, tropical America, Malesia, and the West Pacific.
This plant was first introduced to Europe in 1824 after being discovered by Gustav Wallis in the forests of Colombia (Team, 2024).
Shape Description and Growth
The peace lily is an erect herbaceous plant with a height that can reach up to 50 cm with a width of between 60 and 90 cm (NParks | Spathiphyllum Cannifolium, 2021). The main characteristic of this species is that its flowers consist of a spathe and spadix.
Its eye-catching flowers have a large spathe with a sail-like shape that has a pale yellow or ivory apex that folds back to reveal its slender, greenish-white or cream-colored spadix. The leaves are green with a rather large elliptical shape and have a shiny surface and concave leaf veins.
To grow well, peace lilies require regular fertilization and watering. However, it is recommended not to water and fertilize excessively because it can damage the roots. This plant also does not require full sunlight. It is better to be placed in a moist place with indirect sunlight and with well-draining soil.
Benefits of Peace Lilies for the Environment and Other Uses
Peace lilies are often used as ornamental plants indoors or on balconies placed in pots. Some sources say that peace lilies can help remove many toxins from indoor air including formaldehyde and ammonia (Care, 2016).
The NASA Clean Air Study also found that plants of the genus Spathiphyllum or peace lilies can clean certain environmental contaminant gases, including benzene and formaldehyde. However, subsequent testing found that the resulting cleaning effect was too small to be feasible (NatGeoUK, 2019).
Poison in Peace Lilies
Even though it has a very beautiful appearance, the peace lily plant contains toxins that can cause pain in the human body. The poison contained in this plant is calcium oxalate crystals.
It is known that if the leaves of the peace lily plant are consumed in excess, it can cause symptoms such as severe pain in the mouth and a burning sensation in the lips, tongue and throat, excessive salivation, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing (Spathiphyllum (Mauna Loa Peace Lily, Peace Lily, Spathe Flower, White Sails) | North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox, 2024).