14 June 2017

sticky columbine

I cut the seed pods off my columbine. Realized later that only the dry ones are fully mature
but the majority of the seeds were black, so I think they will still germinate for me. They are very dark and shiny, remind me of celosia seed.

I was a bit taken aback to find the columbine- stems and seed pods alike- was very sticky and covered in aphids. I thought the apids were the cause of the stickiness, but it's actually the opposite! A bit of quick reading clued me in: some columbine is naturally sticky, which traps plant-eating bugs, which attracts predatory bugs that eat the trapped ones. Columbine also exudes a chemical or odor that lures in the plant-eating bugs. How cool is that. I could set aphid traps just using bits of columbine stem, or better yet, plant more of them near the garden next year.

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