Calla palustris

L. 1753

Calla palustris is a monotype member of the genus Calla.
Inhabits temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere.
It can be found in humid alder forests, on watersides and wet meadows, in mountains and lowlands.
It is often seen in horticulture usually growing near ponds.

The habitat of Calla palustris. Photos (1-7) © Bartosz T. Zalewski
Plants growing wild in Poland.
The flowers are bisexual and 3-merous. They consist of 1 pistil and 6 stamens. Often the flowers on the top are only male.
Ripening infructescences. The ripened berries are red.


I got a few plants in 2003 but they grew in too dry soil and I lost them.


In 2009 I bought two new plants and decided to grow them in the water.
Close-up of a leaf.
When planted underwater the stem is erect
until it reaches the surface, then it becomes floating.
Plants growing in the ground have creeping rhizomatous stems.
A larva of a dragonfly on a leaf.
One of the plants in the middle of the season (July 2009).


Take off after the dormancy underwater in April.
It looked so in the beginning of June.
The leaves were not yellow, it was a very sunny day.
On the 10th August it bloomed.
Metasyrphus sp. on the inflorescence.
Side view.
On the first day the underside of the spathe was almost white, next day it turned green.
Calla palustris produces perfect bisexual flowers, only the flowers on the top are male or sterile,
that's why for a long time it was in its own subfamily Calloideae including this only species.
Later research moved it to the largest subfamily Aroideae, to its own tribe Calleae.
A week after the inflorescence was turning into an infructescence.
A month after the bloom it looked so. 2010-09-10
On the 15th October the it was already ripe. Note that the spathe remained to the end.
It didn't allow the infructescence to drown.
The small floating plants around
are also aroids, Lemna sp.
On the 15th November, after the first ground frost I took it home.
The plant stayed in the pond.
Seeds collected from this infructescence.
There are usually 4 (max. 8) seeds in one fruit.
The seeds are 3.5 - 4 mm long and 1.2 - 1.6 mm wide.

The IAS: Calla palustris
USDA: Calla palustris
The Atlas of Vascular Plants of Poland: Calla palustris
Tropicos: Calla palustris
CATE Araceae: Calla palustris
Wikipedia: Calla palustris
page created on 2002-01-23
last updated on 2010-12-07