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  Arum italicum as an invasive weed? ID and advice needed.
From: "Marge Talt" mtalt at clark.net> on 2001.03.26 at 07:33:04(6079)
Hi all,

I received email from a gardener in Oregon who had read my article on
Arum italicum and wrote saying that it had become a weed on her farm,
invading the garden and herb beds. Since my one clump has not
expanded all that much in years and doesn't set seed regularly, I
replied wondering whether she could have another plant - and sent
links to various Arum images on the web.

She responded with two images of her problem plant, which I have put
up on the web at:


It sure looks like Arum italicum to me, but I've never read anything
about this becoming an invasive weed. Out of my depth here, so I
turn to all you Aroid gurus to help me help this person out.

Would you-all be so kind as to look at the images and let me know
whether this looks like it actually is Arum italicum. If not, what
is it? And, further is there any action that can be taken to curb
it, other than removing seed heads? She says it's spreading
everywhere and the tubers are very deep; she's tried digging them
out, but finds she's just cutting off stems below ground. She says
there are too many to really be able to dig them out (if it is A.
italicum, I should be so lucky as to have this problem!). She also
says they have tried "various methods" of eradication with no
luck...I am assuming some kind of herbicide, but do not know exactly
what methods she has tried.

Any assistance will be much appreciated.


From: "Plantsman" plantsman at prodigy.net> on 2001.03.26 at 08:34:58(6083)
That is definitely A. italicum var. 'pictum'. I should be so lucky
to have it spread out! For what they cost, I'd like to have more!
I've had a bed of about fifty plants out for three years and they've
not expanded outward any that I can tell. Mine seem to be rather
shallow rooted and their tubers grows over on their side. It must
be that Pacific Northwest climate and good rich dirt that is doing
it. Here in NE TN we have long cool autumns that causes quite a bit
of growth, fairly cold winters that stops them and then wet springs
with wildly swinging temps until the long, hot and dry summer hits
that's sends them into dormancy. Somewhat similar to their native
habitat from what I understand. Maybe she should consider raising
them to sell, just buy a long nursery spade to get way down deep!

David Sizemore

From: "kalbmatt" kalbmatt at email.msn.com> on 2001.03.26 at 14:06:02(6084)
Looks like arum italicum. In Portland OR Zone 7-8 it can be invasive, but
removal of seedheads has been helpful to prevent spreading. I still have
mats of it several yards across. Some dranunculus act the same.
From: jim singer jsinger at igc.org> on 2001.03.26 at 16:38:38(6089)
not much help, marge, but confirmation that one person's accent plant is
another's invasive weed. the pond apple, which is native to the everglades,
has been declared a noxious weed in northern australia; likewise the
austrailian pine has been declared a noxious weed in the everglades. i
suspect this sort of thing happens with greater frequency than we realize.

From: Joyce Miller onager at midtown.net> on 2001.03.26 at 20:09:22(6090)
Dear Marge,
In Sacramento, CA, Arum italicum is also an invasive weed, at
least in my yard. This spring I have resorted to digging the tubers. The
fact that so many are very small makes me believe I can nearly eradicate
them. I do want a couple of accent plants for they are handsome striking
plants with scarlet berries in the fall.
Sincerely, Joyce Miller, Sacramento, CA Zone 9A.

From: Betsytrips at aol.com on 2001.03.26 at 21:10:03(6091)
I can say here in west Tennessee that it comes up here and there but that is
okay with me. Those of you that have a problem with them will just have to
share with the neighbors and hope they like your gift. One man's weed is
another's rare plant.

From: "Marge Talt" mtalt at clark.net> on 2001.04.10 at 07:35:31(6167)
A belated thanks to all of you who replied to this query, both on and
off the list. Appears that consensus is that this is, indeed, a form
of A. italicum and (to my surprise) that it can be very aggressive in
benign climates. You learn something every day!

I will pass this information on to the person with the problem...

Thanks again, everyone!

Marge Talt, zone 7 Maryland

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