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Re: CULT: Borer Resistance

On Jan 31, 2005, at 11:47 AM, ChatOWhitehall@aol.com wrote:

I'd consider the fact that
at egg laying time the imago moth may not actually be seeking out the largest
rhizomes as such, since it does not, so far as I am aware, eat them, but is
definitely known to be looking for accumulated dead foliage, and, simpleminded
as it may sound, perhaps the larger rhizomes just mean better trash, and a
slightly more protected area at the base of the fans.
That brings up an interesting possibility I had not previously considered. In my garden, the MDBs and SDBs always produce more vigorous, fuller clumps with more late-season foliar trash than do the TBs, yet I've never had borers bother the littleuns as they do their tall brethren.

So, it's not quantity of foliar trash that attracts borer moths here. It must be quality - perhaps the "slightly more protected area at the base of the fans" that Anner suggests above. TB leaves certainly provide more area per leaf than do MDBs or SDBs, and since I've read that borer moths lay their eggs in the creases of dead iris foliage, it makes sense that TB leaves provide the necessary creases that MDBs and SDBs may not. This leads me to wonder if TBs with particularly wide leaves might be especially attractive to borer moths. I've never thought to take note of that before, though I've certainly noticed some TBs with substantially wider leaves than others.

Has anyone else ever made a connection between leaf width of specific cvs in relation to their vulnerability to borer attack?


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