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"Possibility and promise greet me each day as I walk out into my garden. My vigor is renewed when I breathe in the earthiness and feel the dirt between my fingers. My garden is a peaceful spot to refresh my soul." Meems

Welcome to my Central Florida Garden Blog where we garden combining Florida natives, Florida-Friendly plants, and tropicals.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Emma Prevails to Bloom

Any plant in the Amaryllidaceae or amaryllis family is a choice (but not exclusive) target of the Eastern Lubber grasshopper. This summer it was my Crinum angustifolium 'Queen Emmas' that took the most noticeable hit from the Lubber's bothersome habit of mutilating foliage as it feeds.

Most of the beautifully elongated and oversized leaves have been severely chewed ragged leaving them in a pathetic state aesthetically. So severely affected were the three Emmas located in the front gardens they were eventually dug up late July and moved to the VERY back-of-the-back garden to recover.

You may remember how the Emmas were initially acquired as a gift from a generous neighbor which you can read about here. There are currently six of these much-loved dramatic centerpiece specimens in the garden.

Caught in the act, as previously mentioned in another post, it took me by surprise that the enormous buds of Emma were included in the Lubber's menu. In normal conditions buds atop tall scapes shoot forth 2 and 3 at a time, in succession, on any one plant.

The good news is those magnificent umbels have burst open this week. Glorious clumps of sweetly scented trumpets have made it to maturity.

I refuse to give up and give in to those menacing chompers. But WOW, I'm still seeing several (and pick them off to die) each day. I wonder if there are worse years than others or is it just that I have added more plants that offer food and cover for them??

All hail to you, Emma, for prevailing even in a particularly tough environment.

May you bloom for the rest of your season without interruption.


  1. Wow! Emma really is a tough beauty! Those are really beautiful blooms, Meems. I would've been so angry at any uninvited guests.
    I think a regular dose of neem will help you get rid of them. Neem kills their appetite and their libido so future generations of Emma-feeders will be severely restricted.

  2. Those are amazing plants! And they really took the hit, huh? Thanks for sharing another stunning plant with us. Your camera does a fantastic job of capturing the details. I'm gonna save up for a new one...

  3. THose blooms are so beautiful they make me want to take a bite of them. Maybe you just need to plant more of them so the lubbers can't possibly eat them all. I do think that there are worse years than others for the lubbers. Hopefully next year there won't be as many.

  4. What a beauty! I'm so glad the lubbers didn't eat everything in sight. I saw some of these crinums at the library the other day, and had to stick my nose near the flowers to see if they had a scent, they did and I loved them.

    Enjoy ~ FlowerLady

  5. Love,love love those Queen Emmas.You already know how much I lust after them.I'm starting an Emma garden,btw.I'm still seeing lubbers too.Both types now.I agree.I don't recall them ever being this bad.The clippers are getting a workout this year.

  6. We have seen enormous numbers of the Eastern lubbers this year (in parts of Tampa)especially earlier in the late Spring. I have killed so many in my daily walk-about it was terrible. There are still a few everyday now but not as bad. This is the worst I have ever seen, they even eat some of my toughest bromeliads!
    Someone mentioned Neem, do you mean the Neem oil or is there something else? Sandy

  7. I have many, many crinums, and consider them a temporary sacrifice to the lubbers. Fortunately, they are tough and do recover and bloom again. I agree with these other commenters that this is the worst lubber year I ever remember! Your specimen in the photo looks way better than mine, which are still showing some tattered leaves. (I need to go trim them.) I laughed when you said you moved three to the back of the garden. I have three specimens right next to my driveway. I bet the neighbors think I should move them. But I am the quintessential lazy gardener, and things pretty much stay in their original planting location forever.

  8. Hi Sunita,
    She is tough when left to normal circumstances. Not much defense for her against the menacing grasshoppers. I haven't tried the Neem oil because when I see them I snatch them off of their prey and smash them. It wouldn not be possible to spray every plant they attack. Hand picking is really the only solution unfortunately.

    I'm glad you like this one. She has been a very nice addition and she puts off pups quite readily. I've been able to share some and plant some.

    The blooms are ginormous and wonderfully scented, too.

    Yes, the scent is fresh and lemony and can be enjoyed just browsing about the garden.

    I've got more pups ready to be divided... please feel free to stop by. We can pot one up for you quickly. An Emma garden is PERFECT! A Queen should definitely be added.

    It makes me feel a little better to know I don't have the entire collection of Lubbers in my yard. :-) Although it sure seems like they must all be gathered here. I've heard this "worst year" status from several gardeners. Like you, they have eaten my broms, too. Weird! I've seen them on just about every type of plant in the garden. The Crinums or any lily is a certain thing. I go look for them there first. Good luck with your garden. I answered my thoughts on the neem in my comment back to Sunita above.
    Thanks for stopping by... I hope you come back and see me.

  9. FG,
    All my hurricane lilies have been devoured by Lubbers. They don't even let them get to flower for chewing the stems in half or the buds if they make it that far. UGH!

    I know they say Emmas can take full sun but the ones in my front garden not only were hideous from Lubbers but they seemed stress from thesun. In my experience all my Emmas do better when given some filtered sunlight rather than direct sunlight. They are happier and recovering now under the shade trees with morning sun and I'm happier not having them look so tortured.

    The Crinum in the photo is tattered and torn from Lubbers but nothing like the rest of them. I'm just happy the Lubbers finally left the buds alone long enough to flower. It's always something in a garden.

  10. Meems, Those grasshoppers sure gave us a run for the money this year. But Emma looks great just in time for a Fall bloom.I really do enjoy seeing everyone's garden and glad your daughter inspired you to blog. If any of the ladies at your open garden want to come to my Fall open house just let them know by email the date and time. Janis

  11. We have had a tremendous increase in the lubbers this year. They have devoured my amaryllis to the point that I am not sure there will be blooms next year. They ate not only the leaves but also the tops of the bulbs. I could not believe the number of lubbers I would find and destroy every day. You are lucky your crinum bloomed.

    Always Growing

  12. It's a beautiful flower meems! Those lubbers are a menace! I'm so glad some were spared! We've had our fill of bugs that chew on plants! I have to go to war with the flea beetles next spring. gail

  13. Oh, how lovely. They are so delicate looking with the red streaming over the white. I would just probably have stomped the grasshoppers too because it would have really ticked me off to see them chomping on my flowers/ LOL!

  14. I too have crinum lillies; we just call them lirios here in the Yucatan of Mexico. My problem is the flower stalks are so long they can't support themselves. My primary plant is currently 5 - 5 1/2 feet tall.

    They are gorgeous though aren't they?
    debi in merida


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September 2010

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