Araceae Juss.
Calla L.

Calla palustris L.

This species is accepted, and its native range is Europe to Japan, Subarctic America to N. & E. U.S.A.


CATE Araceae, 17 Dec 2011.

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; creeping helophyte in streams and ponds. Creeping helophyte on swampy shores of streams, rivers, lakes, and ponds, forest swamps, swampy meadows, in shallow water, often with Sphagnum moss.
Temperate & Subarctic Northern Hemisphere.
shui yu
General Description
Rhizome creeping, green, cylindric, to 50cm, robust, 1–2(–3)cm in diam., somewhat spongy; nodes rooting. Cataphylls lanceolate, to 10cm, apex acuminate. Petiole green, terete, (6–)12–24cm (and longer to 30[–40]cm), base sheathing; sheath 7–8(–12)cm, with free ligule; leaf blade green, (4–)6–14 × (4–)6–14cm; primary veins (8–)10–14(–18), pinnately arching from a strong midvein on each side, intramarginal vein inconspicuous. Peduncle green, terete, 15–30 × 0.8–1.2cm. Spathe green outside, white inside, (3–)4–6(–8) × 3–3.5(–5)cm, apex with an acumen ca. 1cm. Spadix 1.5–3 × 0.7–1.5cm; stipe 5–7 mm. Flowers yellowish green, 2–2.2(–2.5)mm tall. Infructescence (2–)3–5 × (1.5–)2.5–3.5cm. Berries red, (5–)6–12 × (4–)5–10mm. Seed brown, 3–5 × ca. 2mm.
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.
Fl. May–Jul, fr. Aug–Sep.

Native to:

Alaska, Alberta, Altay, Amur, Austria, Baltic States, Belarus, Belgium, British Columbia, Buryatiya, Central European Rus, Chita, Connecticut, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, East European Russia, Finland, France, Germany, Illinois, Indiana, Inner Mongolia, Irkutsk, Japan, Kamchatka, Khabarovsk, Korea, Krasnoyarsk, Kuril Is., Labrador, Maine, Manchuria, Manitoba, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Netherlands, New Brunswick, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Newfoundland, North Dakota, North European Russi, Northwest European R, Northwest Territorie, Norway, Nova Scotia, Ohio, Ontario, Pennsylvania, Poland, Primorye, Prince Edward I., Québec, Rhode I., Romania, Sakhalin, Saskatchewan, South European Russi, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Tuva, Ukraine, Vermont, West Siberia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Yakutskiya, Yukon

Introduced into:

Great Britain

Calla palustris L. appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status Has image?
50547.000 No
Bogner [2117] 57571.000 No
Bogner 58031.000 No
Bogner [2117] 58904.000 No

First published in Sp. Pl.: 968 (1753)

Accepted by

  • Chang, C.S., Kim, H. & Chang, K.S. (2014). Provisional checklist of vascular plants for the Korea peninsula flora (KPF): 1-660. DESIGNPOST.
  • Charkevicz, S.S. (ed.) (1996). Plantae Vasculares Orientalis Extremi Sovietici 8: 1-382. Nauka, Leningrad.
  • Gorchakovskii, P.L. & al. (1994). Opredelitel' sosudistykkhrastenii srednego Urala: 1-524. Nauka, Moscow.
  • 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.
  • Govaerts, R. (1999). World Checklist of Seed Plants 3(1, 2a & 2b): 1-1532. MIM, Deurne.
  • Herkert, J.R. & Ebinger, J.E. (eds.) (2002). Endangered and Threatened Species of Illinois: status and distribution 1: 1-161. Endangered species protection board, Springfield, Illinois.
  • Iwatsuki, K., Boufford, D.E. & Ohba, H. (2016). Flora of Japan IVb: 1-335. Kodansha Ltd., Tokyo.
  • Kozhevnikov, A.E., Kozhevnikov, Z.V., Kwak, M. & Lee, B.Y. (2019). Illustrated flora of the Primorsky Territory, Russian Far East: 1-1124. National institute of biological resources.
  • Sabirova, N.D. & Sabirov, R.N. (2011). New and rare vascular plant species of Northern Sakhalin Byulleten' Glavnogo Botaniceskogo Sada 197: 80-86.
  • Wu, Z. & Raven, P.H. (eds.) (2010). Flora of China 23: 1-515. Missouri Botanical Garden Press, St. Louis.


CATE Araceae

  • Hen(g) Li, Guang Hua Zhu, Boyce, P.C., Murata, J., Hetterscheid, W.L.A., Bogner, J. & Jacobsen, N. 2010. Araceae in Flora of China @
  • Mayo, S.J., Bogner, J. & Boyce, P.C. 1997. The genera of Araceae. 370 pp.
  • Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew 2008. World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

Kew Backbone Distributions

  • Meades, S.J. & Brouillet, L. (2019). Annotated Checklist of the Vascular Plants of Newfoundland and Labrador

  • 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, 17 Dec 2011.

  • Herbarium Catalogue Specimens

  • Kew Backbone Distributions

    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2022. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

  • Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone

    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2022. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

  • Kew Science Photographs

    Copyright applied to individual images