Arum berry eaters?

Rand Nicholson writserv at NBNET.NB.CA
Fri Aug 8 07:02:09 CEST 1997

Hi Lois:
>        Don't know what kind of gardening year you have had , up here it has
>been hell.  While it has cooled down (5 C) this morning, we have had
>scorching heat, wind, frequent high humidity and basically very little rain
>since the beginning of June....everything is stressed here, including this
>        We have more critters than you do (black, red and gray squirrels,
>raccoons, procupines, skunks, snowshoe hares, rare gopher - but no deer
(snip) all the
>frittilaria as well...There are insects I have never seen and insects on
>plants that have never had everything seems thirsty , at
>least that is my present explanation...

Here in Maritime Canada, it is much the same. Woodland species are coming
into  Saint John city (I live close to a park) and turning into vermin.
Black-legged marmots are getting aggressive because so many people think
that they are "cute" and so, feed them. The coons are being coons. We have
"city deer". (sigh) This means that they look both ways before they cross a
street. (true)

One point though: I grew Frittilaria imperialis for years at a worse site
for critter invasion than present and, although tulips were dug up, and
most everything else, the tulips and a few other bulbs _surrounding_ the
Frittilaria were always left alone, as was the Frit. bulb itself. Perhaps
you are growing some of the smaller (and very pretty) varieties? I have
grown some of those myself, but they, also were never eaten.

>        So yeserday I put blood meal around the remaining ginseng seeds and
>anything else I wanted to protect...we'll see if it works.

Unless it is dug in in the fall, blood meal is a fine attractant to
raccoons, dogs and cats, in this area, through my personal experience. :(

I do not have much trouble with Arisaemas in this area, except for when the
berries turn red. I do not know whether the birds actually _eat_ them, but
grackles and starlings will make a mess of a nice, red seed head of A.
triphyllum in fairly short order. A lot of the berries are left on the

>                Lois Addison
>                bedrock.gardeners at
>                Dunrobin, Ontario (35 miles west of Ottawa)

Kind Regards,


Rand Nicholson
New Brunswick
Maritime Canada, Z 5b
<writserv at>

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