Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Ugly weeds and bug spottings

Bristly Oxtongue
There's a really ugly weed I may have mentioned before that aphids go crazy over. Anyone in their right mind would get rid of these horrid looking aphid infested weeds.  Not me. Since becoming a 'beneficial gardener' I love to have them around. They have to behave themselves though. I only leave a few, preferably in a hidden corner so anyone might think I just hadn't gotten around to pulling them.

Now when I see them I think 'what a feast for my beneficial insects'. The buggy weeds are close to the insectary and today I spotted more ladybugs, a syrphid fly and some parasitic wasps.

I never knew what to call it except the 'horrid weed'. But I discovered this wonderful resource from UC Davis Integrated Pest Management site with a weed identification section that is amazing. It has excellent photos of plants at all stages, from seeds and seedlings, to mature plants, and closeups of leaves and flowers. I found my weed right away from the easy to navigate site. I now know it's a Bristly Oxtongue.

Syrphid fly
The Oxtongue in the photo looks a lot nicer than mine, because mine are covered in sticky aphids. I put up with a few of them though because of the bug spotting today of this syrphid fly, a lovely beneficial isn't it? 

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