Calla L.
  • Sp. Pl.: 968 (1753) 

Notes: Distribution: Temp. & Subarctic Northern Hemisphere

General Description

Laticifers present, simple, articulated. HABIT : seasonally dormant herb with repent or submersed, green, rhizomatous stem, rooting at nodes. LEAVES : distichous. PETIOLE : sheath long, with long, free, ligulate apex. BLADE : cordate to broadly cordate, rounded, cuspidate-apiculate; primary lateral veins not differentiated, higher order venation parallel-pinnate. INFLORESCENCE : solitary. PEDUNCLE : erect, as long or longer than petiole. SPATHE : fully expanded, elliptic- or ovate-lanceolate, acuminate, shortly decurrent, persistent, white within at anthesis, green without. SPADIX : stipitate, cylindric, obtuse. FLOWERS : bisexual, often male at spadix apex, perigone absent. STAMENS : ca. 6, sometimes more, filaments somewhat flattened, anthers short, connective slender, short, thecae ellipsoid, opposite, dehiscing by longitudinal slit. POLLEN : diaperturate, globose, small (mean 23 µm.), exine foveolate, apertural exine verrucate. GYNOECIUM : shortly ovoid, 1-locular, ovules 6-9, anatropous, oblong, funicles short, placenta basal, style attenuate, stigma small, subhemispheric. BERRY : spheroid-conic, several-seeded, red. SEED : terete-oblong, testa thick, scrobiculate towards chalaza, sulcate-striate towards micropyle, raphe prominent, embryo axile, elongate, endosperm copious.

Diagnostic Description

Creeping helophyte; stem green, rooting at nodes; petiole sheath with long apical ligule; leaf blade cordate; fine venation parallel-pinnate; spathe expanded, elliptic to ovate-lanceolate; flowers bisexual, perigone absent.


In forest swamps, often between forest margins and raised bogs, often with Sphagnum, up to 1270m alt.; creeping helophyte in streams and ponds.


Temp. & Subarctic Northern Hemisphere.

Distribution Map

  • Native distribution
  • Introduced distribution
Found in
  • Asia-Temperate China Inner Mongolia
  • Manchuria
  • Eastern Asia Japan
  • Korea
  • Russian Far East Amur
  • Kamchatka
  • Khabarovsk
  • Kuril Is.
  • Primorye
  • Sakhalin
  • Siberia Altay
  • Buryatiya
  • Chita
  • Irkutsk
  • Krasnoyarsk
  • Tuva
  • West Siberia
  • Yakutskiya
  • Western Asia Turkey
  • Europe Eastern Europe Baltic States
  • Belarus
  • Central European Russia
  • East European Russia
  • North European Russia
  • Northwest European Russia
  • South European Russia
  • Ukraine
  • Middle Europe Austria
  • Belgium
  • Czechoslovakia
  • Germany
  • Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Switzerland
  • Northern Europe Denmark
  • Finland
  • Norway
  • Sweden
  • Southeastern Europe Romania
  • Southwestern Europe France
  • Northern America Eastern Canada New Brunswick
  • Newfoundland
  • Nova Scotia
  • Ontario
  • Prince Edward I.
  • Québec
  • North-Central U.S.A. Illinois
  • Minnesota
  • North Dakota
  • Wisconsin
  • Northeastern U.S.A. Connecticut
  • Indiana
  • Maine
  • Masachusettes
  • Michigan
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode I.
  • Vermont
  • West Virginia
  • Southeastern U.S.A. Maryland
  • Subarctic America Alaska
  • Northwest Territories
  • Yukon
  • Western Canada Alberta
  • British Columbia
  • Manitoba
  • Saskatchewan
Introduced into
  • Europe Northern Europe Great Britain

Included Species


  • 1 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.
  • 2 Govaerts, R. (1999). World Checklist of Seed Plants 3(1, 2a & 2b): 1-1532. Continental Publishing, Deurne.
  • 3 Gardens, K.""Royal Bot World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. (2008).
  • 4 Mayo, S.J., Bogner, J. & Boyce, P.C. The Genera of Araceae. (Royal Botanic Gardens Kew: 1997).

 Information From

CATE Araceae
Haigh, A., Clark, B., Reynolds, L., Mayo, S.J., Croat, T.B., Lay, L., Boyce, P.C., Mora, M., Bogner, J., Sellaro, M., Wong, S.Y., Kostelac, C., Grayum, M.H., Keating, R.C., Ruckert, G., Naylor, M.F. and Hay, A., CATE Araceae, 14 Dec 2011 . 17 Dec 2011.
  • A All Rights Reserved
Global Biodiversity Information Facility
  • B All Rights Reserved
eMonocot. (2010, 1st November). Retrieved Wednesday, 8th February, 2012, from
  • C Content licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
WCSP 2014. 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Facilitated by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; Retrieved 2011 onwards
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