Lee Poulsen
Wed, 14 Feb 2018 09:56:15 PST
This was mentioned a few years ago, but in my suburban southern California climate, the absolute worst weed plant in my pots, or in the ground, is Nothoscordum inodorum. I call it the devil plant because nothing seems to stop it. First it reproduces both by multiple small black seeds that are produced by multiple waves of flowers that ripen incredibly quickly. It flowers off and on during almost any season of the year in this area, whenever it gets water. It also produces hundreds of tiny brown rice-grain-sized daughter bulblets, any one of which can eventually produce another mother bulb with hundreds of its own tiny bulblets. These bulblets are almost impossible to see in soil if one or more gets left behind. It grows in any kind of soil. And for some reason, it can go dormant in any season when it doesn’t receive water. So whether it gets into the pot of a summer dormant bulb or a winter dormant bulb, it just starts growing again whenever I start watering that pot. Even tried Roundup on it. It kills the top leaves, but often does nothing to the mother bulb or makes it go dormant for a year. If it does kill the mother bulb, it doesn’t seem to affect the daughter bulblets, so they proceed to grow instead. Apparently in places where it freezes every winter, they are nicely behaved plants. But for me, all it takes is one seed or one bulblet getting into one of my pots to start a whole new infestation. The only solution I’ve found that works is to discard the entire pot of soil into a garbage bin and remove by hand the desired bulb or plant that was growing in that pot, carefully removing all soil in and around the desired bulb or roots of the desired plant, discarding that soil, too, (to make sure not a single tiny bulblet grain remains hidden or tucked away somewhere. Then replant the desired bulb or plant in fresh potting medium. In the ground, I take giant shovelfuls of soil all around and including the infestation location, and I literally discard all that soil in the trash. Then I watch that location like a hawk in case any of the rice-grain bulblets somehow escaped during the discarding process. Can you tell that I intensely dislike this species.

Shmuel, I think this would be a horrible weed in your climate, too. I’ve heard that it sometimes shows up in some seed exchanges labelled as some other species.

--Lee Poulsen
Pasadena, California, USA - USDA Zone 10a
Latitude 34°N, Altitude 1150 ft/350 m

> On Feb 14, 2018, at 8:37 AM, Jane McGary <> wrote:
> As one of probably a few PBS members who add Bellevalia species to our collections, I encourage Shmuel to send seeds, but mention in a note that it self-sows readily.  I don't have any Bellevalia self-sowing here, though I have one in the open garden, but species in its relatives Muscari and Hyacinthoides are pests in this climate, especially the latter (the dreaded "Spanish bluebell"). Oncostemma (Scilla) peruviana is invasive in California but never self-sows here in northern Oregon; it's valuable for cutting. Some people I know here regard Cyclamen hederifolium as a pest, but it's fine where I have it, in a spot where almost nothing else will grow.
> It's a good idea to grow unfamiliar plants in a pot for a while to evaluate their behavior. I haven't annoyed myself with bulbs I introduced (yet), but some rock garden perennials have behaved badly (e.g. Scutellaria spp., Aethionema spp.). The worst invasives in my bulb house are Oxalis obtusa and Narcissus cantabricus, N. romieuxii, and their hybrids. Fortunately the Oxalis is not hardy in the open garden here; that's all we need, another Oxalis weed.
> Jane McGary
> Portland, Oregon, USA
> On 2/14/2018 1:01 AM, Shmuel Silinsky wrote:
>> Obviously "invasive" depends on where the plant is from and where it is
>> grown. Some plants self sow or "naturalize" but never become a problem. Duh.
>> So , inspired by the thread about no-care bulbs to be (hopefully) added to
>> the wiki, I wonder if a "potentially invasive" section would be good? I
>> know the answer is that everyone is busy and strapped, but the wiki is open
>> and write to the wiki people. : )
>> Case in point, Bellevalia flexuosa, is a common native here in Israel and I
>> call it a weed, but many may want this. Is this a plant that others want
>> and I can send to the BX or SX or is it a horrible scourge that would be
>> unleashed into gardens.  Bottom line, do I throw them out or send them on?

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