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Calla palustris2.jpg

Secure (NatureServe)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
Order: Alismatales
Family: Araceae
Subfamily: Calloideae
Genus: Calla
Species: C. palustris
Binomial name
Calla palustris
  • Callaria Raf.
  • Aroides Heist. ex Fabr.
  • Provenzalia Adans.
  • Callaion Raf.
  • Callaion palustris (L.) Raf.
  • Provenzalia palustris (L.) Raf.
  • Calla ovatifolia Gilib.
  • Calla cordifolia Stokes
  • Callaion bispatha (Raf.) Raf.
  • Callaion brevis (Raf.) Raf.
  • Callaion heterophylla (Raf.) Raf.
  • Provenzalia bispatha Raf.
  • Provenzalia brevis Raf.
  • Provenzalia heterophyla Raf.
  • Dracunculus paludosus Montandon
  • Calla generalis E.H.L.Krause
  • Calla brevis (Raf.) Á.Löve & D.Löve

Calla (bog arum, marsh calla, wild calla, and water-arum[2]) is a genus of flowering plant in the family Araceae, containing the single species Calla palustris. It is native to cool temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, in central, eastern and northern Europe (France and Norway eastward), northern Asia and northern North America (Alaska, Canada, and northeastern contiguous United States).[1][3][4][5]

Flora von Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz 1885

It is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant growing in bogs and ponds. The leaves are rounded to heart-shaped, 6–12 centimetres (2.4–4.7 in) long on a 10–20 centimetres (3.9–7.9 in) petiole, and 4–12 centimetres (1.6–4.7 in) broad. The greenish-yellow inflorescence is produced on a spadix about 4–6 centimetres (1.6–2.4 in) long, enclosed in a white spathe. The fruit is a cluster of red berries, each berry containing several seeds.[6][7]

The plant is very poisonous when fresh due to its high oxalic acid content, but the rhizome (like that of Caladium, Colocasia, and Arum) is edible after drying, grinding, leaching and boiling.[8][9][10]

The genus formerly also included a number of other species, which have now been transferred to the separate genus Zantedeschia. These plants, from tropical Africa are, however, still often termed "calla lilies", but should not be confused with C. palustris.


  1. ^ a b Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  2. ^ Dickinson, T.; Metsger, D.; Bull, J.; & Dickinson, R. (2004) ROM Field Guide to Wildflowers of Ontario. Toronto:Royal Ontario Museum, p. 62.
  3. ^ Govaerts, R. & Frodin, D.G. (2002). World Checklist and Bibliography of Araceae (and Acoraceae): 1-560. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  4. ^ Herkert, J.R. & Ebinger, J.E. (eds.) (2002). Endangered and Threatened Species of Illinois: status and distribution 1: 1-161. Endangered species protection board, Springfield, Illinois.
  5. ^ Sabirova, N.D. & Sabirov, R.N. (2011). New and rare vascular plant species of Northern Sakhalin. Byulleten' Glavnogo Botaniceskogo Sada 197: 80-86.
  6. ^ Flora of North America, vol 22, Water arum, wild calla, Calla palustris Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 968. 1753.
  7. ^ Flora of China, Vol. 23 Page 17, 水芋 shui yu, Calla palustris Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 968. 1753.
  8. ^ A Dictionary of Flowering Plants and Ferns - JC Willis
  9. ^ Plants for a Future: Calla palustris
  10. ^ Pharmacognosy, Wild calla-Calla palustris-Poisonous plants

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