July 20, 2011

Mysteries in the Garden

There are many odd and mysterious things going on in the garden right now.  Ok, so they're doubtful mysteries to everyone, but they're mysteries to me.

First is this beetle.  There are loads of them around the vegetable garden, and I suspect they're burrowing into the ground and laying eggs.  I further suspect their larvae will be chompin' on my veggie roots.  Anyone know what kind of beetle it is?

Second there is this pretty mystery plant that is either a native volunteer or some kind of scary invasive alien from another planet.  It has grown incredibly well, and the blooms are very pretty.  It's about 2-3' tall and has multiple stems/branches.  Thoughts?

I also have this puppy in the bulb bed.  Except for the blooms, it looks like a lanky, spindly lily, and the blooms are also quite pretty.  It's about 2' tall, and it's solitary.  I'm worried this might also be an invasive, but maybe I got lucky with something awesome.  Anyone know what this plant is?

And finally, I have this bunch of grassy leaves growing in the stock tank.  I think it might be a foxtail lily since I planted a few last autumn, but this would be my first year growing them and have no idea what to expect.  So is it a foxtail?

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  1. The pretty blue plant is a Vitex or Chaste tree. They get pretty big, ours is 16 ft tall and 12 foot wide, about 12 years old. The other one looks like a wild lettuce.

  2. Randy - You're right about the purple vitex! It's growing almost exactly where one had died, so it's probably come up from the roots or something. I don't think the other one is wild lettuce. It has lanceolate leaves, and the blooms are white. It's pretty funky.

  3. Definitely vitex for the purple one. The next one is a weed, but don't have a clue what it's name is.

    Around here it's the year of the 17-year locust, so I am thinking you have a locust - which won't eat your veggies.... well, not if I am correct!

  4. Vitex for sure- they are really pretty and turn into big trees. I love them. I will ask Michael on those others when he gets home - I am still home recouping. That one grassy leaf one you posted we have growing everywhere at the nursery. I leave it cause I think it's pretty. I will find out the name of that one too and let you know if someone else doesn't first. The beetle no clue, he's cool looking though, however not cool if he is chompin' on the veggies (or the larvae...)

  5. The grass is Johnson Grass- really just a weed he said- we have it growing wild at the nursery and I leave it on the fences at the back cause I think it's pretty. The other he said he'd have to see the whole plant. But I think if you like em' leave em. There are a lot of "weeds" I think make pretty plants- like Solanum.

  6. That mystery beetle... gosh it's so big. I wonder how you are going to get rid of them... I hope you will find a way.

  7. I'm not sure what the leaves look like on your lanky lily thing, but the flowers resemble 'cupid's shaving brush', whimsical name, but it's a horribly invasive weed in the tropics..

  8. Vitex...yes, I agree
    Johnson grass..yes, I agree
    The beetle...could it be a good old' fashioned June bug? They usually come out at night and are attracted to the porch light.
    Otherwise, I've not seen a large brown beetle like it.
    If you see metallic green beetles they are native and eat dead plants and compost. They are not bad guys.
    Good luck and solving your mysteries. David/ Tropical Texana/ Houston :-)

  9. Hi, we have lots of those beetles here, either May or June beetles coz they arrive in droves after the first heavy rains after the rainy season. The grubs or larvae lives in the soil. Those with white flowers are also plenty which just arrived like an alien just a few years ago! I've seen its scientific name somewhere and wrote it but i forgot now about it. Those growing here are not that lush in growth though.


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