Monday, June 21, 2010

Bad news in the lily department

On one of the on-line lily discussion forums reports are beginning to appear describing the beginning of the active period of the lily beetle, Lilioceris lilii. As far as I know, this very serious pest of lilies and fritillaries has not yet reached Maryland.

Yesterday evening I was touring the garden and noticed that a nice big clump of martagon hybrid lilies had damaged foliage. Neat little circular or semicircular patches were cut out of the leaf edges. I've read about this in British books; curious, I turned up a few leaves and suddenly something compact and black dropped to the ground and disappeared. All of that fits the modus operandi of another serious pest. I think the plants are being attacked by black vine weevils, Otiorhynchus sulcatus, a pest I had never before noticed in this garden.

Later today I'll post images of the damaged leaves and, if I can catch one in the act, of the culprit itself.

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