Sunday, July 26, 2020

Lilioceris cheni and air potatoes...

Go back ten years, and I rememebr how we’d send the kids out to pull air potato vines out of the trees in our small backyard.... I think I paid a quarter for each tuber. It was a serious problem everywhere in Central Florida that has, for all intents, abated in the last ten years after the introduction of Lilioceris cheni, a beetle with a ditinctive red back. I find them in great numbers in the spring, near compost and under my mulch. I’ve seen many more of them over the past five years... And a concommitant reduction in air potato vines during the summer... For all intents, the vines are gone — the vines are ravaged (I assume by the larvae of the beetles) and never mount the trees or fences before they die. It’s amazing. Here’s a leaf of an air potato vine I found growing... it’s demolished, and the vine only got a couple feet up the tree before stopping...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I really appreciate the time you took creating these posts; it's hard to find really good gardening advice and info specific to Central FL; most gardening info online doesn't apply to us at all! Thanks again for creating such a great resource!