Calla palustris L.
Water arum, Water-dragon, Wild calla
Araceae (Arum Family)
The 5-10 in. water-dragon or wild calla has fleshy, jointed stalks and heart-shaped leaves on upright stems. The flowers are white with a hint of green, on a round spadix. Growing in water among oblong
heart-shaped leaves, is a broad white spathe around a spadix covered with tiny yellow flowers. A bright white, elliptic
spathe partially surrounds the spadix. The spathe/spadix is held on a 4-5 in. stem
above forking, creeping, partially exposed rootstocks. The fruit
is a red berry.
a more northerly species than the other arums in the East, is also found in Eurasia. It is very showy when in flower and, later, when bearing its fruit. The genus
, its meaning uncertain, was used by Pliny; the species epithet palustris
means of marshes.
Image Gallery: 8 photo(s) available
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Fruit:
Red Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug
AK , CT , IL , IN , IA , ME , MD , MA , MI , MN , NH , NJ , NY , ND , OH , PA , RI , VT , WI Canada: NB
, PE Native Distribution:
Que. to Alt., s. to MD, n. IN & MN Native Habitat:
Cool, shaded swales and bogs where water is stagnant USDA Native Status: L48(N), AK(N), CAN(N)
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Shade
Soil Moisture: Wet , Moist
Soil Description: Shallow water or slightly acid, wet soil.
Conditions Comments: A light mulch is necessary in extremely cold, snowless winters. Wild calla will not survive a dry spell.
BenefitUse Food: EDIBLE PARTS: Dried berries are edible. Dried seeds and rootstocks can be made into a flour, but used only in times of need. (Poisonous Plants of N.C.)
Warning: POISONOUS PARTS: All parts. Causes severe pain in mouth if ingested. Symptoms include burning and swelling of lips, mouth, tongue, and throat; difficulty of speaking. Toxic Principle: Calcium oxalate crystals. (Poisonous Plants of N.C.)
Conspicuous Flowers: yes