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sunflower moth larvae not just on coneflowers

Posted by rouge21 4 (My Page) on
Wed, Jul 31, 13 at 15:12

Take a look at your coneflower cones next time you are out in the garden. If you see cones which have a blackened centre as one of mine you can see below, (the front and centre 'powwow' white flower)

 photo P1010522_1_zpsfe3f7287.jpg

then very likely your echinacea have the "sunflower larvae" burrowed in the flower. To verify simply break open the flower and look inside. You may well see a small green worm (larva).

And now I notice this year this same pest is destroying flowers of similar plants., For example I see my stands of "Tuscan Sun" Heliopsis has the problem also:

 photo P1010521_1_zps15891b71.jpg

Disappointing.

Here is a link that might be useful: sunflower larvae in your flowers

This post was edited by rouge21 on Wed, Jul 31, 13 at 17:07


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: sunflower moth larvae not just on coneflowers

Between this, aster yellows and the the echinacea mite, it's a wonder to have any decent looking coneflowes.


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RE: sunflower moth larvae not just on coneflowers

What is worrisome is that this pest seems to affect many of the Asteraceae family. For me personally I will have so much less colour this August if the spread continues.


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RE: sunflower moth larvae not just on coneflowers

Ugh.

I have these too, both plant types. I thought the heliopsis might be some other insect as it looks a bit different, but now I am pretty sure it is the same as you describe.

Let me guess, helenium is in the same family?


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RE: sunflower moth larvae not just on coneflowers

Indeed it is.


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RE: sunflower moth larvae not just on coneflowers

This worm is rampant in my heliopsis "Tuscan Sun" as most of the flowers have some dark rotted spot in the "cone". I split one in half just now and here is the worm in question.

So many plants in this family are at great risk. This isnt good.


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RE: sunflower moth larvae not just on coneflowers

Looks like I've got these too. Ugh!

TotallyConfused


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RE: sunflower moth larvae not just on coneflowers

Just found them today. Thanks for the heads up Rouge. Bummer........


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RE: sunflower moth larvae not just on coneflowers

I probably have this caterpillar too. I have been thinking the damage was caused by mites, earwigs, and/or beetles since the coneflowers are looking pretty ratty this year.


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RE: sunflower moth larvae not just on coneflowers

This pest is so rampant in my 4 "Tuscan Sun" Heliopsis.

This plant is the most incredible bloom machine but in each of the two years I have had these 4 specimens they have been 'home' to both a major infestation of aphids and this sunflower moth larvae.

I am assuming that any effective insecticide for these larvae will harm those very important beneficial pollinating insects i.e. bees and so regretfully I will consider a replacement border plant this winter (I am counting on you guys and girls for your advice).


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RE: sunflower moth larvae not just on coneflowers

What about BT? It is effective with lots of types of caterpillars and won't hurt the beneficial insects. Worth a try?


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RE: sunflower moth larvae not just on coneflowers

In fact I have a bottle of BTK on hand. Doing some on-line looking it does appear it is...."safe" for many insects. I may give it a try on one of the affected plants as an experiment.

This post was edited by rouge21 on Mon, Aug 5, 13 at 1:05


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