1 Crinum bulbiferum, and 2, animals that eat shoots

Kathleen Sayce ksayce@willapabay.org
Mon, 09 Jun 2014 19:38:15 PDT
There was a little whining and whimpering going on when I checked plants in my cold frame today. 
I came back from a weekend at a native plant meeting (lovely time, talking plants for 3 days straight), to find:

1. Crinum bulbiferum is flowering in my cold frame. Should I worry that it will set copious seeds and become a cold frame thug? Or enjoy the tiny flowers and not worry?

2. Something has systematically eaten shoots of and apparently killed Pancratium maritimum, a bulb that was until now growing for about 3 years from seed. I can find no sign of the below ground shoot, and am going to turn the pot out tomorrow in full daylight to see if any part of the bulb survives. Also eaten down were all shoots of Zephyranthes. Most of these are still alive and now trying to resprout. They will need some protection to do so. 

I live next to a salt marsh, and within 2 miles of a shellfish opening house. Rats are a common pest here in summers, eating bits of clams and oysters. Are they also eating my bulbs? Or is this more likely to be a vole? In any case my solution is going to be either to mesh the cold frame, or individual plants. The size of the mesh wires, and the tightness of the fit of mesh over either the cold frame or pots will be determined by what is eating the shoots. Rats can eat through fine mesh. Voles can squeeze through very small gaps. 

Any information on likely culprits would be appreciated. Until this week, I've lost only Rhodophialia and Lycoris plants, to the point that I quit growing them and gave all plants away to friends out of the area. But I would dislike giving up on Zephyranthes, and am very annoyed that Pancratium has vanished. 


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