popweed and what's blooming

totototo@telus.net totototo@telus.net
Wed, 04 Mar 2009 13:34:50 PST
On 3 Mar 2009, at 21:00, Laura & Dave wrote:

> Got to go slug hunting now, for the one that ate half the leaves 
> on my one flowering size Erythronium hendersonii ... arrrgggghhhh!

That damage may be due to climbing cutworms. Slugs only nibble, but the 
cutworms are voracious critters that leave erythronium leaves, among others, 
looking like someone has torn great chunks out of them.

Go out at night with a flashlight and hand pick them into a yogurt tub of soapy 
water, then flush down the toilet to oblivion. They're cagey, too, so you have 
to be careful not to jostle the plants, or they'll let go and fall to the 

Ugly gray, rather hard to spot until you get the knack. No biting or stinging 
parts, so you can pick them bare-handed.

It seems like there are never a great many of these at any one time, so 
sedulous hand-picking will quickly bring the numbers down. They start their 
dirty deeds early in the year, so it's wise to look over the plants you know 
they love regularly. Young ones are about as thick as a thick pencil lead, 
mature ones about the thickness of the pencil itself.

Rodger Whitlock
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Maritime Zone 8, a cool Mediterranean climate
on beautiful Vancouver Island


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