Calla palustris (Water Arum)

Scientific Name

Calla palustris L.

Common Names

Bog Arum, Water Arum, Marsh Calla, Wild Calla, Squaw Claw


Calla palustris f. palustris, Calla brevis, Calla cordifolia, Calla generalis, Calla ovatifolia, Callaion bispatha, Callaion brevis, Callaion heterophylla, Callaion palustris, Dracunculus paludosus, Provenzalia bispatha, Provenzalia brevis, Provenzalia heterophyla, Provenzalia palustris

Scientific Classification

Family: Araceae
Subfamily: Calloideae
Tribe: Spathiphylleae
Genus: Calla


Color: White
Bloom Time: Summer


Calla palustris is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant growing in bogs and ponds. The leaves are rounded to heart-shaped, up to 5 inches (12.5 cm) long and wide, on an up to 8 inches (20 cm) long petiole. The greenish-yellow inflorescence is produced on a spadix up to 2.4 inches (6 cm) long, enclosed in a white spathe. The fruit is a cluster of red berries, each berry containing several seeds.

Calla palustris - Water Arum, Bog Arum
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USDA hardiness zone 4a to 7b: from −30 °F (−34.4 °C) to 10 °F (−12.2 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Water Arum is found in bogs and marshes as it is a plant of shallows, cold water, and wet soils. It can tolerate up to 2 inches (5 cm) of standing water and grows best in full sun. It grows from submerged creeping rhizomes that are horizontal near the surface of the soil. In summer, the growing shoots can be cut off, to encourage branching, and pushed into the soil to propagate. These perennials also frequently vegetatively reproduce by producing offsets through its rhizomes.

It can be grown both in wet soil and in marshy, muddy conditions with still, shallow freshwater. Plants tolerate close to full shade but may become weak-stemmed and lean. In established ponds with a good layer of sediment in the bottom can be left to free float.

A light mulch is necessary for extremely cold, snowless winters. Water Arum will not survive a dry spell. See more at How to Grow and Care for Water Arum (Calla palustris).


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, and northeastern contiguous United States).


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