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Thursday - August 06, 2015

From: Danvers, MA
Region: Northeast
Topic: Pests, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Pest Dug Up and Ate Hypoxis Corms
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

After years of no problems, something recently dug up and ate all my Yellow star-grass corms. What is attracted to them and is there an organic way to prevent it?

ANSWER:

Yellow star-grass (Hypoxis hirsuta) is also known as common goldstar and is a low, tufted, grass-like perennial that grows 3-8 in. tall from a hard, hairy corm. The hairy, grass-like leaves originate from the base of the plant. Slender, thread-like flowering stems may be erect or reclining. They carry 3/4 in., star-shaped, yellow flowers below the top of the leaves.

The Illinoiswildflowers.info website has a note that some small rodents do occasionally eat the corms. Perhaps their usual foods were scarce. You can try to protect future corms from predators by creating a chicken wire, window screening or hardware cloth cage for the bulbs that is buried below the soil surface. The New York Botanical Gardens has several more tips for gardeners who have bulbs go missing including: placing a handful of sharp grit in the planting holes, cover the area with bird netting, or building a mesh or wire cage 1/2" hardware cloth for the bottom and sides and larger chicken wire for the top.

 

From the Image Gallery


Common goldstar
Hypoxis hirsuta

Common goldstar
Hypoxis hirsuta

Common goldstar
Hypoxis hirsuta

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