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© Tim Adriaens
© Tim Adriaens
© Etienne Branquart, Belgian Biodiversity Platform
© Etienne Branquart, Belgian Biodiversity Platform
© Etienne Branquart, Belgian Biodiversity Platform
Lysichiton americanus - American skunk cabbage

French name:  Faux-arum, Lysichite
Dutch name: Moerasaronskelk, Moeraslantaarn
Family: Araceae
Group: Vascular plants
Origin: North America
Habitat: terrestrial
Introduction:  agri- and horticulture
ISEIA Score : 10
Naturalization in Belgium
First observation in the wild: 2006
Invasion stage: naturalization
Spatial distribution: isolated
Reproduction in the wild: yes
Dispersion potential: medium
Natural habitats: high
More on invasiveness: Lysichiton americanus grows in the transition zone of terrestrial, semi-aquatic and aquatic habitats like swamps, fens, wet meadows, marshy and alluvial woodlands, along streams, riverbanks, lakesides and ponds. It has no specific site condition requirements except the presence of saturated organic soils. It is often found in protected semi-natural habitats. Lysichiton reproduces almost exclusively by seeds, which may be dispersed downstream along waterways. However, spread by natural means is not frequent and rather limited.
Distribution in Belgium
Established populations
absent from district
isolated populations (1-5 localities per district)
widespread (>5 localities per district)
Endangered areas
low risk
medium risk
high risk

Endangered Natura 2000 habitats ():
bogs, mires & fens: 7110*7120
forest habitats: 91D0*91E0*91F0
Impacts on Species
Predation / Herbivory: low
Competition: high
Disease transmission: low
Genetic effects: low
Impacts on Ecosystems
Nutrient cycling: unknown
Physical alteration: likely
Natural successions: unknown
Food web alteration: low
More on impacts: L. americanus has become established locally in swamp forests and associated wetlands in the EPPO region (resulting most of the time from plantation in the site). After some years, its huge leaves build a dense layer excluding light from native species which are usually not adapted to extreme darkness. It can displace and cause local extinction of rare species of mosses and vascular plants (Carex echinata,Viola palustris, and orchids).
Data Source & References
Authors: Branquart Etienne, Vanderhoeven Sonia, Van Landuyt Wouter, Van Rossum Fabienne, Verloove Filip
Published on:  22 November 2007
Last update:  07 December 2010
Alberternst, B. & Nawrath, S. (2002)
[Lysichiton americanus newly established in Continental Europe. Is there a chance for control in the early phase of naturalization?]
Neobiota 1:91-99.
Baker R. et al. (2007)
Opinion of the scientific panel of plant health on the pest risk analysis made by EPPO on Lysichiton americanus.
EFSA Journal 539: 1-12.
CPS-SKEW (2006)
Lysichiton americanus
From online fact sheets of the Swiss Commission for Wild Plants Conservation
EPPO (2009)
Pest risk analysis for Lysichiton americanus.
European Plant Protection Organization.
EPPO (2006)
Data sheets on quarantine pests: Lysichiton americanus
OEPP/EPPO Bulletin 36: 7-9
Klingenstein F. and Alberternst B. (2006)
Invasive alien species fact sheet Lysichiton americanus.
From online database of the North European and Baltic network on invasive alien species (NOBANIS).
Smith, I.M., McNamara, D.G., Scott, P.R. & Holderness, M. (1997)
Quarantine Pests for Europe.
CABI International, Wallingford, UK, 1425 pp
Weber, E. & Gut, D. (2004)
Assessing the risk of potentially invasive plant species in central Europe.
Journal for Nature Conservation12: 171-179.
Wittenberg, R. (2005)
An inventory of alien species and their threat to biodiversity and economy in Switzerland.
CABI Bioscience Switzerland Centre report to the Swiss Agency for Environment, Forests and Landscape. The environment in practice no. 0629: 155p.
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