A batchelor button and a surprise friend

javan(9b n. coastalCA)June 1, 2006

I really enjoy the blue colors of batchelor buttons. I noticed the presence of a bug friend in the background. Can you spot it?

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loriafopiano(6)

I haven't planted bachelor buttons in years, but I remember that blue; it's striking! The buttons come in purples and magentas also, don't they?

No can see any bug, unless that's an out-of-focus praying mantis in the bottom right...

    Bookmark   June 1, 2006 at 2:13PM
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javan(9b n. coastalCA)

Yes, the batchelor blue is striking, and yes, they do come in purple and magenta too. My impression is that the same plant can have different colors, but I'll check that for sure later in the season. Check again for the residue of a garden friend (well, friend may be a bit strong) in the upper left. Jim

    Bookmark   June 1, 2006 at 3:56PM
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loriafopiano(6)

You mean the "spitty" stuff? Seen it plenty, but never knew just what it was! Info, please?

Lori

    Bookmark   June 1, 2006 at 4:27PM
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javan(9b n. coastalCA)

Rodale's Natural Insect and Disease Control says this: "Several species of spittlebug suck plant juices from chrysanthemums, causing stunting and distortion. The adults look something like leafhoppers, are straw-colored or brown, and measure 1/4 inch long. Pinkish to yellow green nymphs hatch from eggs in spring, and are usually found under the masses of white froth or spittle that they produce. It is this stage that causes damage; adults apparently cause no visible trouble." So unfortunately, that spittle is not a good sign. The book has little to say about control. All the best, Jim

    Bookmark   June 1, 2006 at 11:32PM
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loriafopiano(6)

So you were joking when you said bug "friend", LOL! I've been gardening so long, I actually have a favorite insect: the praying mantis (that's why I thought I say one in your pic...I was being hopeful!).

OT story: When the kids were little, we found a praying mantis in the autumn that looked near dead. She was a huge beauty, looked full of eggs. Of course, we wanted her to be able to lay those precious eggs so we could have a garden full of mantises the next year, so we brought her inside and kept her in a tank for a little while. We'd catch crickets and other bugs to feed her, trying to get her strength back. A truly amazing creature to watch, she'd rotate her head to look at you and you'd swear you were makine true eye contact. It worked, and we set her free on a nice warm day....

Back to the topic, your beautiful bachelor buttons... I googled them, and they do come in other colors. This is NOT my own picture:

Let us know if you get other colors, too!

Lori

    Bookmark   June 2, 2006 at 7:04AM
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javan(9b n. coastalCA)

Lori, I too like praying mantis. We were thrilled to see one out front last year and a neighbor had a bunch. I hope they make a return this year. I've got a number of bachelor buttons planted and if they don't get sucked dry by my little 'friends', I'll report on colors as they come on. All the best, Jim

    Bookmark   June 2, 2006 at 10:54AM
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dianezone4(zone 4-5a)

Love that blue color! On the subject of praying mantises, we kept some on our curtains when we were growing up: no flies or anything around, with them on duty. The babies were miniatures of the adults - they were darling! And they stayed right on the curtains, politely minding their own business.
Diane

    Bookmark   June 5, 2006 at 10:07PM
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quirkpod(7 Lewisville NC)

I adore those blue flowers and grow them each year. They do seem to attract spittle bugs. All you have to do is wash them off. Speaking of Mantis, my DH once accidentally hatched hundreds of them in his closet as a child. OOPS!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2006 at 5:05PM
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