Bill’s horticulture contribution for October.
Stapelia grandifloria (Starfish Flower)
When fully opened, it was not too long before flies began to visit. At one point I actually counted six house flies congregating in the flower’s center, gorging themselves on the aroma and nectar.
Ahhhhhhh, the wonders of nature. The aroma, for humans, is not pleasant at all, period! Smells like rotting meat, thus is pollenated by large flies.
What happened to this flower in Kathleen’s garden? (From September meeting)
Kathleen brought a curiosity cutting from her garden. Her coneflowers are mutating. Kris said it’s a disease caused by the aster yellows virus and the only cure is to dig up the plant and throw it away. The common leafhopper transmits the virus around the garden. Horticulture oil applied in April will help eradicate the leafhopper if caught early. See more detail on the attached link at Missouri Botanical Garden.
Environmental Report by Tracy (September meeting)
- Try to introduce helpful bugs like ladybugs and lacewings into your garden by providing colorful flowers that they love. Rue is a host plant for ladybugs.
- Hold off on your fall cleanup because plants and water are needed in the migratory pathways for birds. Cardinal flower, bee balm, trumpet creeper, coral honeysuckle (native plants) are great for birds, and asters, goldenrod, sunflower, blazing star, and milkweed are needed for the butterflies.