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Lamium

General Information

Lamium or yellow archangel (Lamium galeobdolon) is a trailing, evergreen, perennial groundcover with square stems. The heart-shaped leaves are typically variegated and slightly hairy. For a short time, it has small upright yellow flowers.

Growth Habit

Lamium is very aggressive and well adapted to growing in shaded and open areas. It does best in moist shaded sites such as ravines. It can produce copious seeds that are dispersed primarily by ants, which can transport them up to 70 m. In addition, this aggressive groundcover spreads by vegetative runners, growing up and over other forest-dwelling plants and smothering them.


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Spread by roadside dumping

Management

The best way to control false lamium is to prevent its escape from gardens (the most common way it becomes established in natural areas is through dumped hanging baskets.) Once lamium is established, the most effective way to control it is to remove it by hand, and to replant with native shrubs. Controlled areas should be re-assessed for the first few years following the initial control.

Alternatives for planting:

  • yerba buena (Clinopodium douglasii)
  • piggy-back plant (Tolmiea menziesii)
  • kinnikinnick (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi)
  • bunchberry (Cornus canadensis) – all native plants that provide habitat for native wildlife.

Identification

Leaves are typically variegated with silvery-grey markings and are oval-shaped and toothed. Stems are square, leaves are opposite. Leaves are hairy and coarsely toothed. Flowers are small, yellow and tubular; they grow in pairs of clusters close to stems between leaves on flowering stems that are 1 to 2 feet tall. Distinctive, non-menthol and somewhat unpleasant odor.

 

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