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Wild calla, plant belonging to the family of Araceae, it is "technically" composed of an underground stem, called rhizome, which emits roots and stems. It is so simple to grow with good results, which translate into colorful and lush flowers and leaves, that it is almost impossible not to host this species in our green corner. In addition to flowers and leaves, it also produces some brightly colored berries.
Wild calla: the flower
Color white tending to yellowish, the flowers of the maid closely resemble those of the domestic stepsister. They appear in spring, certainly not surprisingly, but they know how to surprise with theirs extreme beauty. After about a month they leave room for the first fruits, real red-orange berries when fully ripe. The scientific name of the Wild calla is Arum italicum.
Italicum because it is widespread in our country, while Arum for a less obvious reason. Arum in fact derives from the Greek, from “aron”, which means heat and is associated with Wild calla because it emits heat during the flowering period. There are also other names of this plant common in some areas of Italy Pan di serpe, light Gigaro, Giaro and Grass snake.
Wild calla: photo
If we were to describe the Wild calla as it appears, for example in the photo, we would say that it is a nice little bush of white-veined leaves that is well, indeed, very well, in humus-rich soils.
Wild calla with red berries
The leaves of the wild calla with white veins
Wild calla: cultivation
Like the name of the Calla itself, "Wild", in fact, he suggests, this plant is born in a spontaneous state and gets along easily by itself but if we want we can cultivate it. We try to reserve a shaded area for it in our garden, preparing a deep hole, about 10 centimeters, with a soil rich in organic matter.
Once arranged, so that it is very straight, you can cover the tuber with very compact soil and proceed with a quick watering. During the winter it is not necessary to cover the plant and worry about the cold temperatures of the season, the endures without being affected, instead in spring and summer it should be watered well. Well does not mean often but in the right measure.
There Wild calla in fact it prefers to stay in a humid soil without receiving too much liquid on it, in winter it stops watering because it knows how to take care of its water needs by itself. IS' wild in name and in fact.
Wild calla: properties
In the past this plant was also often used in medicine, not only in gardens, for its property of eliminating intestinal parasites, with the same purpose we still find it used in herbal medicine and in homeopathic medicine practices. Not today, I hope, but years and years ago there Wild calla it was also considered a magical plant, capable of warding off and discouraging evil spirits and especially protecting newborns.
Leaving aside these now disproved beliefs, it should be remembered that the Wild calla is a poisonous plant. If you eat the fruits, they are toxic, if you touch the leaves and flowers, they can cause annoying dermatitis and irritations.
Wild calla: leaves and inflorescence
We talked about the flowers but also the leaves deserve a few words and with them also the fruits. Not more than 80 cm high Wild calla it is composed of a sort of central column from which the flower emerges and which is surrounded by leaves, of an intense green color very interesting for its whitish veins and glossy surface. The fruit of the wild Calla it is a berry, it produces many of them together that group into panicles and catch the eye due to the intense red when ripe.
Wild calla: habitat
Wild plants also have their preferences when habitat is the ideal one of ours Calla are the woods, even better if near or crossed by rivers. It does not necessarily have to be in the light, therefore, but grows serenely and spontaneously even in its complete absence or in areas where it reignsto there "Semi-shade".
In our country between Puglia and Sardinia there are at least 4 or 5 species of Spontaneous wild calla, in total the genus boasts about thirty, none grows over 1000 meters of altitude.
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