Italian arum

Arum italicum

Invasive Italian arum

Italian arum (Arum italicum) is also known as Orange Candleflower, Cuckoo’s Pint and Italian Lords-and-Ladies. It is a problem invasive species in warmer climates, and also in Oregon. This European perennial was introduced as an ornamental plant for its showy leaves and orange seed heads. It spreads by birds and animals who eat the seeds, and small bulbs that easily spread in disturbed soils. They can also be spread from dumped yard debris or compost. Once established, it is very difficult to remove. Arum thrives in moist, well-shaded woodland areas and also is hardy enough to survive in drier urban yards. This species is toxic to animals and humans.

It’s distinctive white-veined leaves are present in the fall and sometimes through the winter. The plant produces flowers with a pale hood-like leaf (known as a spathe) circling a white-yellow nodule (called a spadix) in late April to June and give off a displeasing odor. After the flower dies back, you’ll see the green (turning to bright orange-red) berries in tight, oblong clusters.

Some native plant alternatives are:

  1. Stream violet
  2. Beach strawberry
  3. Wood strawberry
  4. Wild bleeding heart
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