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Desireable or deadly

Denys Searls
(Non-member from Dunedin City)
23/07/2013 12:56:12 p.m.
Dark green plant with curly foliage, single white root abot 30cm long ending in a bulb. 20cm cone shaped cluster of bright red berries. I haven't been at the property long enough to see any flowers. Usual garden herbicides won't touch it. Short of digging it all ip (it's quite extensive) how can I eradicate it please
27/07/2013 11:22:34 a.m.
Looks like arum lilly Zantedeschia aethiopica or something similar. It can be difficult to eradicate, herbicides do not remove it. As there are a multitude of small bulbs at the top of the root, each of which readily sprouts into a new plant, it is also very difficult to remove by digging unless you take all the soil also. Are you sure you want to get rid of it? Its a huge job involving multiple redigs over the site and even sifting the soil.
27/07/2013 8:47:35 p.m.
I have dealt with such plants by tackling only a small area-say 1m sq-each day. Loosen the soil deeply and carefully with a fork, then gently lift each plant out. Pick up any small bulbs you see too. Trying to do the whole lot in one hit is ineffective and depressing. There will be new leaves appearing in a month or so; I use a long bladed knife to ease the whole plant out. Plants mixed up with the roots of other desirable plants are best dealt with by removing leaves as soon as they appear, so exhausting the bulbs. Really just a matter of being more persistent than the arum, which certainly requires extreme dedication.

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