Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Bog Arum/Kærmysse
Calla palustris

Bog Arum, (there is one single flower!)

Bog Arum is a marsh plant which is important in the formation of wet hængesæk ( water under tangled roots) .It's native to Northern Europe, and its habitat is spruce swamps, marshes, brooksides, muddy pond margins, often nutrient rich places. Bog arum has a widely creeping rhizome, which develops branches that break off easily and form independent individuals when the main stem dies. The flower is pollinated by insects and the red seeds are spread by birds when they eat the berries; also the seeds are sticky and catch easily to the bird's feet, and the plant is spread to other damp habitats.

The whole plant, especially the berry, is poisonous to humans. The Latin name Calla was by the Romans used for another unknown water plant. The name palustris means growing in marsh.
For moist spongy spots near the rock garden, or by the side of a rill, it is one of the best plants, but its beauty is best seen when it is allowed to ramble over rich, muddy soil.

The bog arum is a poisonous plant but still its rootstock has been used as pig food and also as extra flour for making bread

Bog Arum/Kærmysse is scarce in Denmark.

photo Aqua Mose, Silkeborg August 2009: grethe bachmann

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