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...

Published on
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...

Published on
Authors
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 ‘...

Published on
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.

 

...

Published on
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.

 

...

Published on
Authors
Joe Boggs

Woody of the Week - Rising Sun Redbud

Cercis canadensis Rising Sun™ is a brilliantly colored selection of the eastern redbud.  Its newly emerging foliage in the spring is shades of apricot-orange, maturing to yellow, turning to speckled lime-green in summer, and then changing to rich golden tones for autumn.  Its foliage lights up a garden and is a real eye catcher. 

 

Prior to leafing out in the spring, lavender pea-like flowers open along the trunk and branches lasting for several weeks. The heart shaped leaves follow the not only beautiful, but edible flowers too.  If you have not tried redbud...

Published on
Authors
Amy Stone

Perennial of the Week: Mountain Mint

Mountain mint (Pycnanthemum muticum) is blooming now and is covered with a spectacular variety of butterflies, bees, and wasps.  This plant is also called short-toothed mountain mint or clustered mountain mint.  It is a clump-forming perennial that typically grows 2 - 3’ tall. It is native to Ohio where it typically grows in grassy open places, meadows, fields, and woodland areas.

This plant was used by Native Americans for the treatment of fevers, colds, stomach aches, and other minor physical ailments. Mountain Mint is easily grown in full sun to part shade with moist to...

Published on
Authors
Julie Crook

Diagnosis: The Fire Not This Time

  While driving through Mahoning County in northeast Ohio this weekend I stopped to take some pictures of what looked to be fireblight on crabapple (Malus). About a foot of the new growth on the crabapple had died back, with browned leaves attached. As noted in previous bygl-alerts, bacterial fireblight caused by Erwinia amylovora is a common problem on crabapples and apples and other genera in the Rosaceae, such as Sorbus (mountainash), Cotoneaster, Pyracantha, and Pyrus (Callery and fruiting pears). As I looked a little closer, though, I...

Published on
Authors
Jim Chatfield

September 9: 83rd Ohio Plant Diagnostic Workshop

  Hey, where have I been? What happened to the 82nd Workshop, scheduled in Wooster on September 9? Well, we are so enmeshed in “all diagnostics – all the  time” that we have already migrated to #83. Just last Friday there were 70+ Woodland Stewards in Mansfield, Joe Boggs continues his BYGLive! Diagnostic Workshops in southwest Ohio each month (coming as well to central Ohio next year), bygl-alerts are constantly talking diagnostics, and on and on. But you can never get enough diagnostic training and perspectives, as we realize every time we go outside or check out another new website....

Published on
Authors
Jim Chatfield

Shrub of the Week: 'Phantom' Hydrangea

{This bygl-alert is from Joe Cochran, Director of OSU’s Secrest Arboretum. We will soon get his name in the alert author listings.}

  Introduced by Pieter Zwinenburg, Boskoop, Netherlands in 1990, Hydrangea paniculata ‘Phantom’, in my opinion, is one of the best panicle hydrangeas on the market.  The name ‘Phantom’ comes from the pristine, white blossoms that adorn this plant. In June, the inflorescences begin as lime-green, transitioning to a creamy-white and by July have developed into massive, pure white flower clusters. These panicles, up to 15 inches long, are quite...

Published on
Authors
Jim Chatfield