AskDefine | Define calla

Dictionary Definition



1 South African plant widely cultivated for its showy pure white spathe and yellow spadix [syn: calla lily, arum lily, Zantedeschia aethiopica]
2 water arum [syn: genus Calla]

User Contributed Dictionary

see Calla




  1. A South African marsh plant, of the genus Calla, having pale green flowers in a white spathe


  • Italian: calla

Extensive Definition

Calla (Bog Arum, Marsh Calla) is a genus of flowering plant in the family Araceae, containing the single species Calla palustris. It is native to cool temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, in central, eastern and northern Europe (France and Norway eastward), northern Asia and northern North America (Alaska, Canada, northeastern contiguous United States).
It is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant growing in bogs and ponds. The leaves are rounded to heart-shaped, 6–12 cm long on a 10–20 cm petiole, and 4–12 cm broad. The greenish-yellow inflorescence is produced on a spadix about 4–6 cm long, enclosed in a white spathe. The fruit is a cluster of red berries, each berry containing several seeds.
The plant is very poisonous when fresh due to its high oxalic acid content, but the rhizome, like that of Caladium, Colocasia and Arum, is edible after drying, grinding, leaching and boiling.
The genus formerly also included a number of other species, which have now been transferred to the separate genus Zantedeschia. These plants, from tropical Africa, are however still often termed "calla lilies", but should not be confused with C. palustris.


External links

calla in Czech: Ďáblík bahenní
calla in German: Drachenwurz
calla in Estonian: Soovõhk
calla in Spanish: Calla
calla in Esperanto: Kalao
calla in French: Calla des marais
calla in Lithuanian: Pelkinis žinginys
calla in Dutch: Calla
calla in Polish: Czermień błotna
calla in Portuguese: Calla
calla in Slovenian: Močvirska kačunka
calla in Finnish: Vehka
calla in Swedish: Missne
calla in Ukrainian: Білокрильник болотяний
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