Name that plant!

Asked August 16, 2019, 1:06 AM EDT

My son from Salem has a very interesting looking plant of which I’m hoping you can tell me the name. I have attached two photos, July 3 is the date of the pic with leaves, and August 15 is the date of the pic with orange berries. Thanks!

Benton County Oregon

1 Response

Hi,

This appears to be Italian arum (https://www.nwcb.wa.gov/weeds/italian-arum)
It's both toxic and invasive, so you may wish to remove it.

I have dealt with this species as an ecological restoration technician and it is a challenge. Your best approach really depends on how much of it you have, with the caveat that once it is established most methods of getting rid of it will just set it back at best. If using manual methods keep in mind that the sap is toxic and protect your skin with rubberized gloves.

If you have it in a fairly small area (a few plants), I would advise digging it up and disposing of the bulbs and nearby soil bagged in the trash--not in your compost or yard waste bin. Repeat as new plants emerge from the small bulbs that may be left behind. Pinch off and dispose of any flowers that form from reemergent plants.

If the arum is located across a larger area, herbicides are an option but even in strong formulations will mostly just set it back rather than kill it, due to its thick waxy leaves and multitude of bulbs. In most cases I would advise a home gardener to first try digging up small populations.