Horticultural Horrors I

  Friday the 13th has just passed and in some sort of dyslexic dystopia, the 31st is just around the corner and Halloween will soon arrive. So it seems only right to write of that which is wrong - or shall we say – wicked, as in Wicked Plants. There is an excellent book by just that title, Wicked Plants: The Weed That Killed Lincoln’s Mother and Other Botanical Atrocitiesby Amy Stewart. I recommend it, but for now, let us take a little trip into the world of some plants wicked this way come, through the house of horticultural horrors, guided by myself...

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Authors
Jim Chatfield

Ode to the Buttonwood Tree

I often ask students in Master Gardener classes "what is a buttonwood tree?" to illustrate the challenge with common names of plants. Unlike scientific names, there is no recognized governing body that standardizes common names of plants. Consequently, plant names may vary widely (wildly?) owing to differences in the cultural backgrounds of people living in different geographical regions, among other things.
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Joe Boggs

Delayed Woolly Bear Crawl-About?

Bristly "woolly bear" caterpillars commence their annual crawl-abouts in search of sheltered winter quarters in the fall; it's usually sometime in September in Ohio. They may be found on sidewalks, walking trails, roadways, or on the walls of homes and buildings. However, insects are sometimes made most noticeable by their absence.
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Joe Boggs

Magnolia Scale Update

I first reported on Magnolia Scale (Neolecanium cornuparvum) this season in June when the maturing females were "puffing-up" and pumping out honeydew (see BYGL Alert, "Magnolia Scale is Pumping-Out Honeydew," June 16, 2017). My lengthy BYGL post included a description of the life-cycle for this "soft scale" as well as information on management options.
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Joe Boggs

Don't Pick That Scab!

As a committed crabarian, I cringe along with everyone when driving into a town or walking along a street and seeing the barren, defoliated canopies of certain crabapples this summer and now into the fall. Out darn scab! (double apologies to W.S.).

 

Apple scabSymptoms of apple scab on...
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Jim Chatfield

Osage Can You See

Osage-Orange has long been one of my favorite trees. What's not to like? Grows anywhere, has glossy, dark green foliage and deeply fissured orangish-tan bark with great winter interest. Just don’t stand or park your car under female trees at this time of the year.
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Joe Boggs

This is How You Do It!

Need 100 one and a half gallon ornamental grasses planted?  Just put out an "all hands on deck" call to OSU Extension Master Gardener Volunteers and they get the job done in  less than an hour!   This is exactly what we did in Clark County in order to complete our border planting in the Snyder Park Gardens and Arboretum (SPGA).  The border consists of more than 4000 daffodil bulbs, a river of daylillies and now Schizachyrium scoparium 'MinnblueA' or Blue Heaven little bluestem.  The idea is that after the spectacular daffodil bloom in the early spring, the bluestem will come up and help to...

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Pam Bennett

European Hornets Cause Concern

At some point each season, I have come to expect receiving at least one phone call or e-mail message from a concerned Ohioan reporting they’ve found Giant Asian Hornets in our state. Although there have been no confirmed sightings of these hornets in North America, I never reject such reports out-of-hand.
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Joe Boggs

Aphid Outbreak

I got a phone call from a homeowner in southwest Ohio who said they had an aphid problem on willows. They described the situation as huge numbers of aphids dropping from large willows onto their home, driveway, and barn; sticky "sap" raining down on everything; and all manner of things acquiring a blackened patina.
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Joe Boggs