What’s happening to this cone flower? Lots of things, really. On the unopened flower, you can see evidence of a chewed leaf–more four lined plant bug damage–so by eliminating the black-eyed susans, I have not solved that problem. They’ve just found something else to chew. Joy.
But that’s not what concerns me. Look at the center of the open flower. It’s not forming the nice “cone” that the plants are know for. Why is that?
Sadly it’s because the sunflower moth larva are at work deep inside the cone. You can’t see them except by dissecting the cone and digging the little worms out.
To read more about the larva, and to see some photos, (on sunflowers, where they are a serious pest!) you can go here.
As for me, I think I’ll just cut off the infected heads and dispose of them. Sadly they won’t be good for wildlife. And they’re not even pretty. But perhaps I’ll be able to get the pest out of my garden this way!