Roxburghshire, United Kingdom
Does anyone have any idea what eats winter aconite (Eranthis hyemalis) flowers?
I potted up a batch of winter aconites yesterday, most of which were just starting to flower, and left them outdoors in the garden. When I looked at them today there was not a single petal to be seen! There were none on the ground, the stems were not damaged (well, one was, but that may have been me when I was potting them up as the stems are very tender) and they look like they've been cleanly stripped off the plants. I'm not troubled by pests as a rule, but there is definitely at least one wood mouse living in the garden, and the chickens in the paddock next door often escape and occasionally come into my garden. I also startled a pheasant in there yesterday evening, which ended up hiding in a corner behind the sheds, so I left it to make its own way out. Could its supper have consisted of winter aconite flowers?
One of my clients lives a few hundred metres away and has thousands of winter aconites, and I've never seen one stripped of its flowers there. Any ideas or suggestions will be gratefully received!
- 7 Mar, 2011