Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Aster Creature

I'm not ashamed to name the Asters as some of my favorite plants in the garden. They do most of what I ask, including surviving overcrowding, heat, wind, drought, and massive infestations of bugs that help to mottle and yellow their leaves all while continuing to put out new growth in preparation for fall flowering.

Please, click on these photos for a closer view. The black dots, no doubt, are bug poop.

This is Aster 'Alma Potschke.' It survived multiple transplants last year, then a clobbering by a baseball bat, and this year a garbage pail toss. Now the pests.

These are the critters. A quick glance might yield you aphids, but one really must get close for these. Their backs look somewhat sculpted and lacy, with stripes. The nymphs, which are everywhere, do not have this feature and are clearly spiny. My quick internet search yields the Chrysanthemum Lacebug or Corythucha marmorata as a possibility, in the family Tingidae or Lace Bugs. It seems these pests are named for the nursery trade plant group they prefer to infest. But they aren't touching my mums, and seem to love asters.

So far the Lace Bugs haven't touched my newly planted showy goldenrod, Solidago speciosa.


  1. sheesh - thats no fun! Is it really bug feces? Or could the black spots be bug eggs?

  2. My research indicates poop, click on this for a close up:


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