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Re: CULT: ?identifying borers

Thanks John.  I finally found something a couple of days ago that looked
like the photos (off white, sort of striped with pink), is huge in
comparison, and it was chewing its way into the rhizome.  There were
several other very small wormy squirmy things in chewed up fans and
stalks, including some that were white with brown stripes on both ends,
with a solid dark brown band in the middle, and dark heads.  Plus some
things that I'm pretty sure were fly larvae (wee maggots).  So I suspect

that I was seeing both young borers and a bunch of other critters taking

advantage of the slimey mess and weakened plant.

I tried feeling for them in the fans, and couldn't, which is another
reason I wondered if they were borers.  And the ones I dug out of the
fans and tried to pop by squishing them were too tough - they just got
thinner.  So I ripped their heads off.

Of the two clumps affected, one seems to have completely recovered from
the damage (an IMMORTALITY seedling).  The other (DUSKY CHALLENGER)
looks like it has been struck a mortal blow - roots dying even on parts
of the plant that I cleaned up earlier and seem to be borer free now.
But maybe it was farther along in damage before I realized what was

What an educational way to thin the irises <g>  I think I will go out
and cut open all the rotting stalks and see what other interesting fauna

I can find.

I don't want to use insecticides - will give up the irises before I do
that - but am <really> looking forward to mowing and burning them this
coming winter.  I found a flame thrower for sale online that looks like
it would be a lot of fun....I will probably settle for a plain ol
kerosene/gas mix drip torch.

It will be interesting to see if that has any beneficial effect on
foliar diseases next spring.

Linda Mann east Tennessee USA zone 7/8
East Tennessee Iris Society <http://www.korrnet.org/etis>
American Iris Society web site <http://www.irises.org>
talk archives: <http://www.hort.net/lists/iris-talk/>
photos archives: <http://www.hort.net/lists/iris-photos/>
online R&I <http://www.irisregister.com>

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