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Evergreen ID *****

last month

I saw this plant growing in Wash DC. It is not part of an ornamental planting. It is even spreading into the adjacent grassy area and mowing doesn't seem to bother it. What can you tell me about it? How does it spread?

Comments (9)

  • last month


  • last month

    Download the iNaturalist app. A botanist or hobbyist will ID for you.

  • last month

    Arum italicum.

  • last month

    So I looked up Arum italicum and I see it is native mainly to the Mediterranean region. Here is my first hit on houzz forums Is Arum Italicum a thug? (

    Clearly this is a weed to avoid in my area.

  • last month

    Its invasive potential is apparently becoming more widely recognized, not just in the Mid-Atlantic and PNW regions, but here in the Midwest as well. This report from the NYBG says, "Escaped populations in North America are reported with increasing frequency and spontaneous populations are now documented from Washington, Oregon, California, Illinois, Missouri, Alabama, Tennessee, Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and New York", and "The plant is extremely difficult to eradicate. It is not possible to pull it up because the stems break off above the tubers. Herbicides can kill the foliage, but the plants grow back from the tubers. When trying to dig up the plants, it is usually impossible to retrieve all the tubers, and so digging often simply results in spreading the plant. Planting in pots is not a good option either because the fruit would still be available to birds who could disperse seeds elsewhere."

    Here it is invading a bed of hostas in a nearby public garden I visited yesterday (5/13/24)

  • last month
    last modified: last month

    I'm watchfully waiting. In 20 years of growing Ellen Hornig's introduction 'Belldene' (called something else now) I've seen 2 seedlings, that were near, but not next to, the original plant. I've never seen birds trying to eat the berries - which I now remove anyhow - so I assume they were spread by slugs!

    Maybe the ornamental leaved forms are a little less vigorous, as is the case with variegated lily of the valley. Even my variegated Convallaria spreads fast enough that I've considered removing it.

    I think I've reiterated my stance on this subject, generally, before. I have removed plants from my garden that *have a clear invasive potential based on the form I cultivate*. This is what everyone should do. Translation - nobody in the mid-Atlantic should be growing non-sterile forms of Rose of Trailer Trash Sharon, but I digress! With the form of A. italicum I currently have, it's invasive potential is not clear.

  • last month

    I was told by Alan Weakley that the i nat seek app is the best. We have botanists and hobbyists in this group. I prefer the social aspect of people working together, which is much more enjoyable. If everyone used plant apps, this forum wouldn't exist. We can tell when people are giving ID's from an app. The most obvious plant app users are the people who don't have the skill to ascascertain that their apps results are correct or not. I suspect jeekesl is one of those botanists identifying plants for seek.

  • last month

    Not technically an evergreen, since foliage dies back in early summer after blooming. Foliage reappears in fall to stay green over the winter.