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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 22 | Araceae

4. Calla Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 968. 1753; Gen. Pl. ed. 5; 414, 1754.

Water arum arum, wild calla [a plant name used by Pliny, perhaps from Greek kallos, beauty]

Herbs, wetland. Rhizomes horizontal. Leaves appearing before flowers, several, emergent, arising along rhizome, also clustered terminally; petiole 1.5--2 or more times as long as blade; blade bright green, simple, not peltate, ovate to nearly round, base cordate, apex short-acuminate to apiculate; lateral veins parallel. Inflorescences: peduncle erect, as long as or longer than petiole, apex not swollen; spathe white, often green or partially green abaxially, not enclosing spadix; spadix cylindric. Flowers all bisexual or distal ones staminate; perianth absent. Fruits not embedded in spadix, red. Seeds 4--9(--11), embedded in mucilage. x = 18.

Species 1: circumboreal.

Numerous cytogenetic studies have been conducted on Calla with both diploid (2n = 36) and apparently tetraploid (2n = 72) populations reported (see G. Petersen 1989). All counts from North American populations counted have a somatic number of 36 chromosomes.


Dudley, M. G. 1937. Morphological and cytological studies of Calla palustris. Bot. Gaz. 98: 556--571. Lehmann, N. L. and R. Sattler. 1992. Irregular floral development in Calla palustris (Araceae) and the concept of homeosis. Amer. J. Bot. 79: 1145--1157. Scribailo, R. W. and P. B. Tomlinson. 1992. Shoot and floral development in Calla palustris. Int. J. Pl. Sci. 153: 1--13.

Lower Taxon


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