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Roxburghshire, United Kingdom Gb

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!




Odd, never seen anything eating ours either and we have pheasants which DO eat our crocus bulbs. Molluscs?

7 Mar, 2011


I'd have said birds but as to which one......
they certainly strip my yellow crocus.

7 Mar, 2011


New one to me, also. I think that the pheasont would have been too 'thugy' and would have caused physican damage to the stems. Birds don't eat the petals, do they, Sbg? They strip them off and leave them scattered around.
No idea, sorry, Annie.

7 Mar, 2011


never noticed what happens just know they are no longer on the plant ;)

7 Mar, 2011


Thanks for the responses, I'm completely mystified by this! I've got snowdrops and a couple of daffs right next to them which are flowering away and were not touched. I was starting to think I was going mad, but thankfully my other half also remembered seeing flowers on them yesterday! Must have been the pixies.

7 Mar, 2011


Was it very windy last night, Annie? Could the Eranthis have been stressed by being lifted, dropped their petals and the wind blown the petals away?

7 Mar, 2011


Thanks for the suggestion, Bulbaholic. It's probable that the plants were quite stressed as I bought them mail-order and I'd run out of compost when they arrived so they were out of the ground for a few days at least - however, the other bulbs I bought at the same time didn't suffer the same fate, and it wasn't windy in the night. Good suggestion though, you may have something there.

8 Mar, 2011

How do I say thanks?

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