The Reddened Rose of Texas

“Rose rosette is an epidemic, and North Texas is the epicenter,” said David Forehand of the Dallas Arboretum: “This is a game changer for roses, I’m sad to say.” This was in a July article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram by Sara Bahari, reflecting the anguish felt by Texans regarding the demise of so many of their beloved rose gardens.
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Authors
Jim Chatfield

Beneficial Insects: Wool Carder Bees

Wool carder bees in the genus Anthidium are a beneficial pollinator that may be less familiar to pollinator-promoters than honeybees or bumblebees, but they are well-worth knowing!

 

This little bee is full of determination.  Female wool carder bees collect wooly material to line their nests.  To do this, she uses her mandibles to scrape fuzzy trichomes from pubescent leaves, especially lambs ear.  This scraping motion is reminiscent of a time when wool would be combed or "carded" to straighten the fibers.  While she toils away collecting soft, fuzzy things for her...

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Authors
Ashley Kulhanek

Perennial of the Week: Rattlesnake Master

No snake charmers here, just a native perennial that is worth a try in a garden as a tall statement piece for pollinators!

 

Rattlesnake Master is full of surprises.  It looks like it belongs in a desert, but it is actually a native prairie plant that grows well in the midwest.  While its basal foliage resembles that of a yucca (lily family), it is actually a member of the carrot family, Apiaceae.  It's flowers are a pollinator dream and its height adds something unique to the garden.  

 

The plant begins with prickly, stiff basal foliage.  The bluish-green...

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Authors
Ashley Kulhanek

Great Golden Digger Wasp: The Other Soil Burrower

Great Golden Digger Wasps (Sphex ichneumoneus) rival Cicada Killer Wasps (Sphecius speciosus) in size, soil excavating capacity, and heavy lifting.  In fact, research on the foraging capacity of the Golden Digger showed this wasp's heavy lifting capacity exceeded that of the Cicada Killer; it was significantly higher than 15 other hymenopteran heavy lifters.*  Yet, when most people think of big wasp bombers, they think of the Cicada Killer.  That's because Cicada Killers occur in larger numbers and their nesting habits often place them in conflict with people.  Golden...

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Authors
Joe Boggs

Ailanthus Webworm Nests

Ailanthus Webworms (Atteva aurea) feed exclusively on the non-native, highly invasive, misleadingly named Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima).  They are the larval (caterpillar) stage of a beautiful ermine moth (Family Yponomeutidae).  In my opinion, this is one of the most beautiful moths found in Ohio.  Multiple overlapping generations occur each season so it is common to find both moths and caterpillars active at the same time.  Indeed, I took pictures posted with this report of the moth on stiff goldenrod (Solidago rigida) the same day that I took shots of...

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Authors
Joe Boggs

Robbers are on the Wing!

One of my favorite insects is the Red-Footed Cannibalfly (Promachus rufipes) which is a type of robber fly (family Asilidae).  Few carnivorous insects can match the amazing acrobatics and predatory proficiency of robber flies in their pursuit of prey.  Adults of all species are predators and they will attack a variety of insects; even "armed" prey and insects much larger than their own body size.  One of the appropriately named Hanging Thief Robber Flies (Diogmites spp.) pictured below is chowing down on a yellowjacket.  There are over a thousand species of robber flies...

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Authors
Joe Boggs

New OSU FactSheet Online - Viburnum Leaf Beetle (VLB)

There is a new Ohio State University Extension FactSheet that you must check out.  The FactSheet covers the Viburnum Leaf Beetle, an invasive species from Europe and Asia.  Curtis Young, Extension Educator in VanWert County, authored this FactSheet that can be found online at http://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/anr-39

 

The FactSheet includes information on:  Host Plants; VLB Identification; VLB Life Cycle and Plant Injury; Management Strategies; and VLB Spread. 

 

While this insect was first discovered in...

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Amy Stone

Caladiscopic Majesty

  Years ago, OSU Agriculture College Dean Bobby Moser wanted the Ag Quad next to Howlett and Kottman Halls to be planted so that football fans would not park cars there on fall Saturdays. The solution, led by Professor Claudio Pasian may be seen in all its colors and textures now with the OSU Extension Horticulture Trial Gardens. One of the many standouts of those trials that I noted last week were a range of cultivars of Caladium. Hearts and arrows of patterned and freckled leaves of intense colors, about 18 inches tall and wide. Wow: ‘Fiesta’ and “Burning Heart’. ‘Pearl’ and ‘...

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Authors
Jim Chatfield

Annual of the Week: Euphorbia 'Diamond Frost'

Euphorbia is a genus in the family Euphorbiaceae; however, not all Euphorbia are equal.  Sometimes, the genes that support a plants demotion to weed status such as the ability to thrive in high heat and drought may be coaxed through hybridization to produce well-behaved, highly prized landscape plants.  Such is the case with Euphorbia 'Diamond Frost'.  This is a very tough plant that not only survives the dog-days of summer; but thrives!  All the while, the naturally mounded plants continue to be topped with clouds of delicate white flowers.

 

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Authors
Joe Boggs

Weekly Weed: Spurge

Two types of spurge belonging to the genus, Euphorbia (family Euphorbiaceae), may become a problem at this time of the year in landscapes and turfgrass.  These are prostrate spurge (E. prostrata) and spotted spurge (E. maculata).  Both are summer annuals meaning that they develop throughout the growing season and produce seeds in late summer to early fall.  Both may flourish by lack of competition presented by poorly maintained or drought stressed turfgrass, or by the lack of weed suppression through poor mulching practices in landscapes.

 

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Authors
Joe Boggs