The calla lily has many different forms of
interactions with many different species. One common interaction
that has been the source of many recent studies it the current problem
of soft rot caused by Erwinia carotovora. This pathogen is causing
the rotting of parenchymatous tissue in the plant organs of many plant
species including Zantedeschia aethiopica. The pathogen rots all
of the plant tissues and organs and eventually kills the plant as a
result. It is a major disease for the calla lily as it is highly
susceptible to the disease.
Not all interactions with the calla lily are
negative. In order to survive the calla lily has to interact with
other organisms to reproduce. The most important interaction for
the calla lily is with the beetle. It is usually the carrier of
the calla lily's pollen and it relies on the organisms to transport the
pollen to the spathe of another plant. The interaction is actually
a two part interaction. It is an example of commensalism when the
beetle acquires the pollen as it benefits the plant but not the beetle,
and later on there is a mutualistic relationship when the beetle seeks
shelter or a place to collect food and the plant is able to become
The calla lily is not especially susceptible to being
eaten. It is poisonous to most animals and is not really relied
upon for a food source. While it can be eaten after boiled, the
average animal does not have that option. The plant has caused
some problems for pet owners who have dogs that like to nibble on their
plants because it is toxic for animals to ingest. However certain
parts like the fruits or the rhizomes are edible to animals, the
rhizomes however are buried and are not usually at risk.
One last interaction that is very important to the
success of the calla lily is the interaction it has with birds.
The bird consumes the ripened fruit and uses it for a food source and
the plant is able to gain a form of seed dispersal. It ends up
benefiting both organisms and is a mutualistic relationship.
This page is maintained by Ashley Schultz