Quick Facts

Quick facts

  • Pampas Lily of the Valley (Salpichroa origanifolia) is a sprawling, often vine-like herb with small broad leaves and white bell-flowers, suckering from a perennial root system.
  • It is found in temperate areas of southern Australia.
  • It can smother shrubs and other small plants.
  • It is difficult to control because of its robust root system and extensive network of shallow roots.
  • It is both an urban and environmental weed.

What Does It Look Like?

What is it?

Pampas Lily of the Valley (Salpichroa origanifolia) is a scrambling, sometimes vine-like perennial herb with a stout rootstock and a network of rhizomes (horizontal roots just under the soil surface, producing suckers); its stems are up to 3 m long and the older ones are quadrangular.  The leaves are arranged alternately along the stem or sometimes in pairs, when of unequal size; they are stalked (the stalk 5–30 mm long), oval (widest below the middle) or trowel-shaped, 10–15 mm long, 5–13 mm wide, without any lobes or teeth and sparsely to densely hairy on both sides.

The  flowers are borne singly or in pairs at the leaf axils (where the leaf meets the stem); they are pendulous or nodding and have stalks 7–10 mm long. They are bell-shaped or urn-shaped (broadly tubular and distinctly narrowed at the top), 6–8 mm long, white and with 5 short, triangular, curved-back lobes at the mouth; the calyx (small outer covering at the base of the flower) is cup-shaped, 2–4 mm long and with 5 long narrow teeth. All of the flowers may develop into fruits.

The fruits are cone shaped with a broad, blunt tip, 13–18 mm long, 7–8 mm wide, dull white or pale  yellow when ripe and more or less translucent; they each contain several seeds; the sees are disc-shaped, 1.5–2 mm diameter and pale yellow to brownish yellow in colour. (Purdie et al. 1982; VICFLORA 2021).

For further information or assistance with the identification of Pampas Lily of the Valley, contact the herbarium in your state or territory.

Flower colour


Growth form (weed type/habit)

Scrambling, root-suckering herb, sometimes vine-like, with a vigorous perennial root system

Where it currently grows? Preferred habitat

Pampas Lily of the Valley is widely though sporadically naturalised in southern Australia, usually where annual rainfall exceeds 1000 mm, and in drier areas where extra moisture is available. It prefers open disturbed habitats and sandy soils and frequently occurs as a garden escape. It inhabits riverbanks, abandoned sites of habitation, derelict gardens and rubbish dumps; it invades coastal vegetation (Parsons & Cuthbertson 2001; AVH 2021).

Are there similar species?

The flowers and leaves of Pampas Lily of the Valley are somewhat similar to Boxthorn (Lycium ferocissimum). However Boxthorn is an erect woody shrub with rigid, thorny branches and has trumpet-shaped, pale lilac flowers and red fruits (Purdie et al. 1982).

Why Is It A Weed?

What are its impacts?

Agriculture: Pampas Lily of the Valley has no recorded impact on agriculture but often occurs sporadically as a garden escape in both urban and rural areas.

Native ecosystems: This species can compete strongly with native species of herbs, grasses and shrubs (Carr et al. 1992) and has a considerable impact on the structure and composition of coastal woodlands in Victoria (Parsons & Cuthbertson 2001). The plant has a vigorous root system, which can survive long dry periods, and recovers quickly when moisture again becomes available (Seychell 2007).

How does it spread?

The seeds of Pampas Lily of the Valley may be dispersed by birds and to a minor extent by rats and ants. Root segments are spread by roadworks and dumping of garden waste (Parsons & Cuthbertson 2001).

What is its history in Australia?

Pampas Lily of the Valley first became naturalised in Australia in the early years of the twentieth century in southern Victoria, and in other southern states soon afterwards. It has long been grown as a gardens plant and is thought to have become naturalised (almost certainly on multiple occasions) as a garden escape (Parsons & Cuthbertson 2001; AVH 2021).

How To Manage It?

Best practice management

Non-chemical control: Manual removal is the best method for effectively controlling Pampas Lily of the Valley. All vegetative matter should be bagged and disposed of appropriately, preferably destroyed (Seychell 2007).

Chemical control:  Herbicides are generally ineffective against established plants of Pampas Lily of the Valley. While they can kill the above-ground portion of the plant, they have virtually no effect on the extensive root system.

Please see the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority for chemical information http://www.apvma.gov.au/index.asp 


Does it have a biological control agent?


When does it grow? (lifecycle/growth calendar)

Pampas Lily of the Valley is a robust perennial herb with an extensive root system. It flowers mainly in summer. In cooler areas, aerial growth dies back in autumn and winter (sometimes killed by frost) with new growth developing from the crown and lateral roots in late winter and spring (Parsons & Cuthbertson 2001).

Where Is It Found?

Which states and territories is it found?


What areas within states and territories is it found?

Pampas Lily of the Valley is naturalised chiefly in Victoria (especially Melbourne and coastal areas to the south, as well as sporadically towards the SA and NSW borders), in New South Wales (especially Sydney and in the Central and Northern Slopes of the Great Dividing Range) and to a lesser extent in South Australia (mainly Adelaide but also on the Murray River and in the lower South-east); in Western Australia it has only been recorded from Perth, in the ACT only from Canberra, in Queensland only from Greater Brisbane and in Tasmania only from Burnie on the mid north coast (Purdie et al. 1982; AVH 2021).

Where does it originate?

Pampas Lily of the Valley occurs naturally in temperate South America, including south-eastern Bolivia, Paraguay, southern Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina (Hunziker 2001).

National And State Weed Listings

Is it a Weed of National Significance (WONS)?


Where is it a declared weed?


Government weed strategies and lists – Weeds Australia

Is it on the National Alert List for Environmental Weeds?


Government weed strategies and lists – Weeds Australia

Is it on the Agricultural Sleeper List?


Government weed strategies and lists – Weeds Australia

Names And Taxonomy

Main scientific name

Salpichroa origanifolia

Other scientific names (synonyms)?

  • Atropa rhomboidea Hook.
  • Physalis origanifolia Lam.
  • Salpichroa rhomboidea (Hook.) Miers

Does it have other known common name(s)?

Pampas Lily-of-the-valley, Lily of the Valley Vine

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