Saturday, June 30, 2018

Creeping Jenny Eaten By Sawfly Larvae

What's eating my Creeping Jenny?

Golden Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia 'Aurea'), is a staple in any garden. Used as a perennial ground cover or trailer for containers and hanging baskets - it grows in sun or shade.

So when I walked through the garden this morning, something was awry. I noticed foliage had been eaten; nearly every leaf was damaged.

On closer inspection, these Monostegia abdominalis larvae were happily munching away. Grrrr.

Great, here's another alien insect, reeking havoc in Ontario. Another introduction from Europe we don't need.

These "caterpillars" are in fact sawfly larvae.  Check out this link by Kansas State University to see the difference.

In total, I collected 23 from this one spot.

They are known to feed on foliage within the Loosestrife family of plants, which Creeping Jenny Lysimachia is classified under.

No spraying necessary, it took me no more than 4 minutes to gather them. They are quite easy to find as their silver/grey coating is a great contrast to the lime green foliage. Do Note: once you touch them, they coil and drop off the leaves.  They are known to have 2-3 life cycles per season. These came out in late June, so keep checking your plants for any other generation that may come 'calling'!

One bonus, they became a great snack for our Koi fish in the pond.

Here's Wikipedia's taxonomy description:  Monostegia abdominalis

Friday, June 22, 2018

Tree Sweaters - Yarn Bombing

This post may not have true horticultural content, but I felt compelled to share.

I usually have many distractions walking downtown Toronto. There's so much to take in. Like today, I couldn't help but notice colourful, eye catching sweaters adorning tree trunks. Well, not actually sweaters, but crocheted/knitted items that were wrapped around trunks.

I must say, they are quite creative.

Some are simply granny squares, colourfully designed...

...others are whacky characters.

They certainly took a lot of time and effort to make. They also made many a passer by smile.

Part of me giggled, enjoyed and appreciated the effort and the skill the artist(s) demonstrated.

Part of me worries about what may lurk under these yard bombing sweaters.  You can be certain, many insects nest and hide beneath these crocheted items. I checked. I found earwigs, pill bugs and two egg sacks. That and moisture are not a good combination for the health of the tree. If the yarn stayed sopping wet, it would be the equivalent of wearing a bandaid around your finger all the time. Not the best way to preserve the tree's health.

I'm divided. I would say depending on the type of crocheted/knitted stitch, I think there could be a happy middle ground. The more air that a tree trunk receives the better. The more the community engages with trees, the better - as I hope this "art" achieves. 

To the artist - well done, but make sure you keep the best interest of the trees in mind first before any other intention.

What do you think?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...