Red and Black devils

Brian Whyer
Sat, 15 May 2010 06:09:54 PDT
Every day at present I need to scan the cardiocrinums, the odd lilies that are large enough, and the frits, for lily beetle. In today's newspaper there is an article on some British wild flowers with a Fritillaria meleagris covered meadow in Oxford as an illustration. The horrible thought comes to me that this must be a fantastic reservoir of lily beetles for those living nearby.

Also to day the Solomons seal saw fly is around. Caught 3 so far. A childs fishing net is quite good to sweep over the plants as they hover if you don't want to spray the plants and threaten the bees that are also active on the flowers. Kew told me they should only be active for a few days so it is worth a little of my time with the net, although I will be squashing eggs later no doubt, and caterpillars later still. I don't know if they are triggered by the weather, (we are having a warm spell after 2 weeks of cold) or the state of the plants which have about half of the flowers fully out, the rest just opening. I am referring to the common large Polygonatum hybridus type here. Do they visit other relatives?

Brian Whyer, Buckinghamshire, England, zone ~8

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