Bogs and Acidic Peatlands of Southern New England by Marsha C. Salett
Taxonomy
Calla palustris L.
ARACEAE (Arum Family)
EtymologyCalla means beautiful, from the Greek: kallos = beauty; palustris is Latin for marsh- or swamp-loving (Latin).
Synonyms (Common Name)Water-arum
DescriptionSmall and elegant with heart-shaped leaves and a snow-white spathe, wild calla is an emergent, aquatic, perennial herb of bogs and swamps. Wild calla is a stemless plant, usually less than 12" tall, with leaves and flower stalks growing from a long, creeping rhizome. It is often found in hollows of conifer or tall shrub swamps.
Wetland indicator statusOBL
Plant Heightless than 12 inches
LeavesDeciduous, simple, entire, 2-4" wide, heart-shaped with a pointed tip, long-stalked, dark-green, glossy; veins upcurved and parallel off the midrib.
Flower/InflorescenceSmall, yellowish, clustered on greenish-yellow, oval spike (spadix) 1-2" long; in a waxy, snow-white, oval sheath (spathe) up to 2" broad and with a pointed tip, that flares away from the spadix.
Flowering PeriodJune-August
FruitBerries, small (1/3 -- 1/2"), red, in a roundish cluster.
HabitatBogs, swamps, pond margins; mud or shallow water.
RangeNewfoundland to Alaska, south to Maryland, Indiana, and Iowa.
(c) 1998-2006 Marsha C. Salett