wild calla

(Calla palustris)

Conservation Status
wild calla
Photo by Luciearl
  IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern

     
  NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

SNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
Wetland Indicator Status
     
  Great Plains

OBL - Obligate wetland

     
  Midwest

OBL - Obligate wetland

     
  Northcentral & Northeast

OBL - Obligate wetland

     
           
 
Description
 
 

Wild calla is a common plant in northern wetlands. It is found throughout northern Europe, northern Asia, and northern North America. In the United States it is found from Maine south to Pennsylvania and west to Minnesota. In Minnesota it is most common in the northeast, north-central, central, and metro regions, mostly absent in the southern third of the state and the far western counties. It is found usually within or adjacent to woodlands in a wide variety of wetlands, including bogs, fens, marshes, and swamps, and at the edges of ponds and lakes. It grows under partial sun to medium shade in acidic peaty soil or muck.

Wild calla is a 4 to 11 tall perennial forb that rises on multiple leaves and flowering spikes from a horizontal stem (rhizome). The rhizome is to 1316 long, (1 to 3 cm) thick, and may be at or just below the surface of the soil.

Leaves appear before the flowers. They arise singly at intervals along the rhizome and in a small cluster at the tip of the rhizome. If the rhizome is submerged the leaves rise out of the water. The leaves are 1916 to 5½ (4 to 14 cm) wide, They are on 2 to 111316 (6 to 30 cm) long leaf stalks (petioles). The petioles are stout, 1½ to 2 times as long as the blade, longer if under water. The leaf blades are egg-shaped to nearly round, heart shaped at the base, and taper to a short point at the tip with concave sides along the tip. There is a central vein (midvein) at the base and numerous parallel lateral veins originating form the midvein and arcing toward the leaf tip. The upper leaf surface is bright green, hairless, and somewhat shiny. The margins are untoothed.

The inflorescence is a spike with tiny flowers crowded on a thickened axis (spadix). The spadex is subtended by a single, large, petal-like bract (spathe).

The spathe is white, egg-shaped to elliptic, and 1316 to 3 (3 to 8 cm) long. It is tube-like just at the base then broadly expanded. It does not enclose the spadix. It has an abrupt, green, to (4 to 10 mm) long, tip that is tightly rolled into a sharp point. The underside of the spathe is sometimes light green.

The spadix is greenish-white, cylinder shaped, shorter than the spathe, ½ to 1¼ tall, and rounded at the tip. It is densely covered with numerous perfect (bisexual) flowers along its length, and with male (staminate) flowers just at the top. Individual flowers have 6 to 12 stamens but no floral leaves (sepals) and no petals. The stamens are white and surround a green, cone-shaped pistil.

The fruit is a fleshy, pear-shaped, ¼ to ½ (6 to 12 mm) long, 316 to (5 to 10 mm) wide berry with a few seeds. It is green at first, turning red at maturity. It is not embedded in the spadix. The spathe and spadix turn green in fruit.

 
     
 

Height

 
 

4 to 11

 
     
 

Flower Color

 
 

White

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Wet. Wetlands, including bogs, fens marshes, swamps, and edges of ponds and lakes. Partial sun to medium shade. Acidic peaty soil.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Flowering

 
 

May to July

 
     
 
Use
 
 

Toxicity

 
 

All parts of wild calla are poisonous if ingested. Dried mature fruits can be consumed. Flour made from the rhizome can be consumed so long as the rhizome is dried, ground, leached, and boiled. However, flour made in this way should be used only “in times of need.” Humans may recover from a severe poisoning case but are likely to sustain permanent kidney and liver damage.

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 24, 28, 29, 30.

 
  8/19/2020      
         
 

Nativity

 
 

Native

 
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Liliopsida (monocots)  
  Subclass Alismatidae  
 

Order

Alismatales (water-plantains, seagrass, and allies)  
 

Family

Araceae (arum)  
  Subfamily Calloideae  
 

Genus

Calla (calalily)  
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

 

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

bog arum

water arum

water-dragon

wild calla

wild calla-lily

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Bract

Modified leaf at the base of a flower stalk, flower cluster, or inflorescence.

 

Petiole

The stalk of a leaf blade or compound leaf that attaches the leaf blade to the stem.

 

Rhizome

A horizontal, usually underground stem. It serves as a reproductive structure, producing roots below and shoots above at the nodes.

 

Sepal

An outer floral leaf, usually green but sometimes colored, at the base of a flower.

 

Spadix

A spike with small flowers crowded on a thickened, fleshy axis, usually enclosed in a spathe.

 

Spathe

One or two large bracts that subtend, hood, or sometimes envelope a flower or flower cluster, as with a Jack-in-the-Pulpit.

       
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Luciearl
       
  wild calla    
       
       
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
   

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  wild calla   wild calla
       
  wild calla    
       
       

 

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Other Videos
 
  Calla palustris ďáblík bahenní
Karel Filip
 
   
 
About

Jan 20, 2015

Vzácná jedovatá rostlina, ohrožený druh.

Google translation: Rare poisonous plant, endangered species.

   
       

 

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Luciearl
5/22/2020

Location: Cass County

wild calla


     
     
 
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Created: 8/19/2020

Last Updated:

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