A perennial herb of swamps and bogs with long, acrid rootstocks, covered with sheathing scales and with fibrous roots at the nodes, from which arise numerous petioled leaves with thick, entire, glossy green, broadly ovate or suborbicular leaf blades 2 to 5 inches wide, cuspidate or pointed at the apex and deeply cordate at the base. Flowering scapes about as long as the petioles, sheathed at the base, bearing at the summit an ovate-lanceolate or elliptic, acuminate, open spathe, white within and greenish without, sometimes with a second spathe nearly opposite the first and smaller in size, or rarely the two of equal size. Spadix cylindric, much shorter than the spathe, densely covered with perfect flowers, or the uppermost flowers staminate. The individual flowers on the spadix possess usually six stamens and no perianth. Ovaries ripening into a large head of red berries.

Memoir 15 N. Y. State Museum

Plate 4

Wild Calla; Water Arum   Calla palustris

Wild Calla; Water Arum - Calla palustris

Frequent in swamps and bogs, especially northward. Rare in the southern part of the State. Flowering from late May to early July, the fruit ripening from June to August.