Roots, Shoots, Fruits & Flowers: Shelf Fungi, Wild Plum Blooming, and Grassy Weeds

Even though many of us are “social distancing” to avoid a viral infection, we can still go to our gardens and yards to enjoy ourselves. As always, send in your images and questions.

Keith Hawkins, LSU AgCenter Area Horticulture Agent (AHA).

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A fungal growth with several names: shelf fungi, bracket fungi, polypores or conks. Photo: Lis Bercegeay

Fungal growth

Lis supplied this email, “[I] Found these [mushrooms] in the Shenandoah [National Park] area on a log that was possibly a [tulip poplar]. Any idea what type of mushroom it is? Feels like a rubbery pancake.”

The fungi shown above is also native to Louisiana, and it decays woods and adds organic matter to soil. If there are conks on live trees, then there is decay inside of the trunk. In heavy wind conditions, a tree with this fungal infection may fail and cause damage to property. Sometimes these fungi will go from rubbery to hard in dry conditions.

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A closeup of a wild plum bloom. Photo: Jennifer Newbury.

Wild American plum

Jennifer asked for some information, “Attached is a pic of a bush [that] We have in our backyard. It has long sharp thorns, and for most of the summer is green, but in the spring, it gets white flowers. One: I don’t know what it is, and Two: I’m not sure how to care for it. Any help [would be] greatly appreciated.”

Jennifer has a wild American plum in her landscape. This plant makes many suckers and cause large colonies to form. Individual plants can be pruned to form a small tree. There are many problems with wild plum:

  • Plum curculio and brown rot can affect the fruit of the American Plum.
  • Other potential disease problems include leaf spot, canker and black knot.
  • Other potential insect problems include aphids, scale, borers and tent caterpillars.
  • This plant is susceptible to damage from deer.

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A clump of annual bluegrass, a cool season weed. Photo: Anthony Jordan.


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A clump of Dallisgrass, another cool season weed. Photo: Anthony Jordan.

Annual bluegrass and Dallisgrass

“Hello, my name is Anthony… I live in Pineville, and I have some weeds that keep coming back, and I can’t seem to kill them. Here are the best photos I could take. Any help is appreciated.”

Both weeds are grasses and grow during our cool season. Both weeds will disappear when summer temperature enable the warm season grasses to thrive. Herbicides with atrazine or with simazine will control the annual bluegrass, and these herbicides are selective and are safe on desirable turf grass. Herbicide will require the precise use of glyphosate to control dallisgrass because glyphosate is non-selective herbicide and will kill other plants. As always, read the label before applying any pesticide.

If you want to contact Roots, Shoots, Fruits and Flowers, please send your questions and pictures to Keith Hawkins, Area Horticulture Agent (AHA), 337-463-7006 or khawkins@agcenter.lsu.edu. Also, you can be on the “green thumbs” email list by emailing your request to the address above.

“This work has been supported, in part, by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Renewable Resources Extension Act Award, Accession Number 1011417.”

3/19/2020 2:42:50 PM
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