Lily of the Valley Vine | Salpichroa origanifolia

California Pest Rating for
Lily of the Valley Vine  |  Salpichroa origanifolia
Family:  Solanaceae
Pest Rating: C  |  Proposed Seed Rating: R

Initiating Event:

Salpichroa origanifolia was introduced in California in the early 1930’s and had no previous pest rating. A pest rating proposal is required to determine a permanent rating for this pest.

History & Status:

Background: Salpichroa origanifolia is a species of flowering plant in the Solanaceae family known by the common names lily of the valley vine, pampas lily-of-the-valley or cock’s-eggs. Salpichroa origanifolia is a weed of urban areas where it grows on home sites and neglected areas, trailing over fences and low bushes3. It is native to South America and is naturalized in Africa, Australasia, Europe, and North America1.

Salpichroa origanifolia is a fast growing creeping herbaceous plant or woody vine with scrambling or trailing stems produced from a long-lived woody rootstock. It has oval shaped leaves that are hairy, with leaf stalks about the same length as the leaf blades. Flowers are bell-shaped, whitish in color, 6 – 8mm long form at the leaf axils. These flowers generally have a drooping or nodding appearance. Flowering occurs throughout the year, but is most prolific during summer. The fruit is an elongated or egg-shaped berry with a smooth surface. These berries (10-20 mm long and 7-8 mm wide) turn yellow or whitish in color as they mature and each contains several seeds. The seeds are brown to pale yellow in color, flattened, rounded in shape (about 2 mm across), and surrounded in a sticky substance6.

Salpichroa origanifolia was sold in CA nurseries in the early 20th century. Although it has not been common in nurseries for decades, it has shown itself to be particularly resistant after establishment. Some plants are likely adventive, but most collection document plants that were likely planted.

Worldwide Distribution: Salpichroa origanifolia is native to South America, originating from Argentina and Uruguay. It has naturalized overseas in Europe (included UK, Croatia, France, Ireland, Portugal, Spain & Italy), Africa, New Zealand and Australia. In the United States, it is reported in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California1, 7.

Official Control: Salpichroa origanifolia is not declared or considered noxious by any state government authorities6. However, in Tasmania it is regarded as a toxic weed and its sale and distribution are illegal1.

California Distribution: Salpichroa origanifolia is reported from Alameda, San Diego, Solano, San Luis Obispo, Contra Costa, Butte, Los Angeles, Monterey, San Bernardino, Ventura, Santa Barbara, Riverside, Orange, San Benito, San Francisco, Sonoma, Yolo, Marin, Humboldt, San Joaquin, Santa Clara, Colusa, Napa and Yuba counties3.

California Interceptions: Two PDR’s (1450405 and 1251122) were reported in the Pest and Damage Record Database by CDFA5. There have been155 vouchers from all over California submitted since 1930’s.

The risk Salpichroa origanifolia (Lily of the valley vine) would pose to California is evaluated below.

Consequences of Introduction:

 1) Climate/Host Interaction: Salpichroa origanifolia is native to an area with a very similar climate to parts of California. It has the ability to naturalized in urban areas, forest, woodland and riparian vegetation. It is usually limited in coverage however. Therefore, Salpichroa origanifolia receives a Medium (2) in this category.

Evaluate if the pest would have suitable hosts and climate to establish in California:

Low (1) Not likely to establish in California; or likely to establish in very limited areas.

Medium (2) may be able to establish in a larger but limited part of California.

High (3) likely to establish a widespread distribution in California.

2) Known Pest Host Range: Salpichroa origanifolia does not require any one host, but grows wherever ecological conditions are favorable. It receives a High (3) in this category.

Evaluate the host range of the pest.

– Low (1) has a very limited host range.

– Medium (2) has a moderate host range.

High (3) has a wide host range.

3) Pest Dispersal Potential: This species reproduces by seeds and vegetatively from creeping underground stems (i.e. rhizomes) and suckering roots. Root fragments and pieces of underground stems are spread during soil moving activities and in dumped garden waste. It produces about 2000 seeds per plant which are dispersed by soil and plant movement and animals that eat the fruits of this plant like birds, rats, mice and ants7.Despite this, it has not spread from the sites of introduction. It receives a Medium (2) in this category

Evaluate the natural and artificial dispersal potential of the pest.

Low (1) does not have high reproductive or dispersal potential.

Medium (2) has either high reproductive or dispersal potential.

High (3) has both high reproduction and dispersal potential.

4) Economic Impact: Salpichroa origanifolia is not known as an agricultural weed, but it could be a problematic weed in home gardening and grazing land in the State. Therefore, it could negatively change the normal cultural practices. It receives a Low (1) in this category.

Evaluate the economic impact of the pest to California using the criteria below.

Economic Impact:  D

A. The pest could lower crop yield.

B. The pest could lower crop value (includes increasing crop production costs).

C. The pest could trigger the loss of markets (includes quarantines).

D. The pest could negatively change normal cultural practices.

E. The pest can vector, or is vectored, by another pestiferous organism.

F. The organism is injurious or poisonous to agriculturally important animals.

G. The organism can interfere with the delivery or supply of water for agricultural uses.

Economic Impact Score: 1

Low (1) causes 0 or 1 of these impacts.

Medium (2) causes 2 of these impacts.

High (3) causes 3 or more of these impacts.

5) Environmental Impact: Salpichroa origanifolia is locally highly invasive and smothers neighboring vegetation, killing large shrubs and fruit trees, and making vegetable and flower culture difficult4. It produce dense stand that could have a significant environmental impact such as lowering biodiversity, disrupting natural communities, or changing ecosystem processes. Its invasive nature create a monoculture that could affect the rare taxa like, Humboldt milk–vetch (Astragalus agnicidus), Abruptbeak sedge (Carex abrupta), showy Indian clover (Trifolium amoenum), and San Diego ambrosia (Ambrosia pumila). It receivesHigh (3) in this category.

Evaluate the environmental impact of the pest on California using the criteria below.

Environmental Impact: A B, C

A. The pest could have a significant environmental impact such as lowering biodiversity, disrupting natural communities, or changing ecosystem processes.

B. The pest could directly affect threatened or endangered species.

C. The pest could impact threatened or endangered species by disrupting critical habitats.

D. The pest could trigger additional official or private treatment programs.

E. The pest significantly impacts cultural practices, home/urban gardening or ornamental plantings.

Environmental Impact: Score: 3

Low (1) causes none of the above to occur.

Medium (2) causes one of the above to occur.

High (3) causes two or more of the above to occur.

Consequences of Introduction to California for Salpichroa origanifolia  (Lily of the valley vine): Medium (11)

Low = 5-8 points

Medium = 9-12 points

High = 13-15 points

6) Post Entry Distribution and Survey Information: Salpichroa origanifolia is scattered but widespread in California and might spread more given enough time. It receives a High (-3) in this category.

Evaluate the known distribution in California. Only official records identified by a taxonomic expert and supported by voucher specimens deposited in natural history collections should be considered. Pest incursions that have been eradicated, are under eradication, or have been delimited with no further detections should not be included:

Score: -3

Not established (0) Pest never detected in California, or known only from incursions.

-Low (-1) Pest has a localized distribution in California, or is established in one suitable climate/host area (region).

-Medium (-2) Pest is widespread in California but not fully established in the endangered area, or pest established in two contiguous suitable climate/host areas.

High (-3) Pest has fully established in the endangered area, or pest is reported in more than two contiguous or non-contiguous suitable climate/host areas.

Final Score:

The final score is the consequences of introduction score minus the post entry distribution and survey information score: Low (8)


Salpichroa origanifolia has been known in California a long time. It spread very slowly. This plant could invade many new areas and increase its density and acreage or it may continue to spread slowly the arears where it is establish. There is moderate uncertainty.

Conclusion and Rating Justification:

Conclusions of the harm(s) associated with this pest to California using all of the evidence presented above: Proposed Rating: based on the score listed above the pest is a medium risk weed with a distribution in at least 24 counties. A C” rating is recommended, as the plant is widely distributed, but could spread further.

  1. Crop protection Compendium.   Search for invasive species.   Online Accessed February 21, 2017.
  1. Encyclopedia of Life. Online Accessed February 21, 2017.
  1. Jepson Herbarium. Online  UC Berkeley.  Accessed February 21, 2017
  1. Monash University, Invasive species online.
    Accessed February 21, 2017
  1. Pest and Damage Record Database, California Department of Food and Agriculture, Plant Health and Pest Prevention Services.
  1. USDA Phytosanitary Certificate Issuance & Tracking System (PCIT) Phytosanitary Export Database (PExD). Accessed February 15, 2017.

Weed of Australia, Biosecurity Queensland Edition. Accessed February 21, 2017   


Javaid Iqbal, California Department of Food and Agriculture

Responsible Party:

Dean G. Kelch, Primary Botanist; California Department of Food and Agriculture; 1220 N Street, Sacramento, CA 95814; Tel. (916) 403-6650;[@]

Pest Rating: C  |  Proposed Seed Rating: R

Posted by ls