Roots, Shoots, Fruits & Flowers: Swamp Lily Disease, Hackberry ID, “Bee” ID, Turnip Disorder & More Catproofing

Swamp lilies with fungus damage.

Fungal leafspot on swamp or crinum lilies. Photo: Jo Hines, Master Gardener

Swamp Lily Disease

Jo sent an email on behalf of a homeowner, “A Grant Parish lady is asking what’s wrong with her swamp lilies, please.”

Dr. Raj Singh, the AgCenter’s “Plant Doctor,” shared his thoughts about the infection in the photo, “It is either cercospora or colletotrichum. Remove severely affected foliage and spray with fungicide containing myclobutanil or propiconazole as an active ingredient.”

Hackberry tree leaves.

Leaves of a sugarberry or hackberry tree. Photo: Stacie from Cameron Parish.

Hackberry ID

Stacie from Cameron Parish asked for help to identify a tree, “I have attached a couple of photos of the tree bark and tree leaves of the tree in question would very much like to know what type of tree it is and is it a hardwood? Thank you!”

Stacie has a sugarberry or hackberry tree. LSU’s School for Renewable Natural Resources shares some information about this tree species:

  • Uses: wood of lower quality, grain resembles oak (“fake oak”), wood takes stain easily; used for furniture, boxes, veneer.
  • Wildlife: fruit eaten by song and game birds; good fall and winter food for turkeys; commonly browsed by whitetail deer, reported to be especially important browse in Atchafalaya Basin.

Eastern yellow jacket.

Eastern yellow jacket. Photo: Kathy Zinn

“Bee” ID

Kathy thinks she has a bee infestation, “My name is Kathy, and I got your email from the LBA [Louisiana Beekeepers Association]…. Anyway, we have a tree near the backyard and when it was warmer the tree was just buzzing with bees. I did not see any hive or anything, so I do not know if they make their homes in the ground and maybe the tree has some sweet sap or something? It is an oak.

I do not know if these bees are considered honey bees. But come next summer we may be cutting branches from the tree and want to make sure what they are. Attached is a picture. I appreciate your help.”

AHA responded, “You have eastern yellowjackets based on your photo. Have exterminator look at the tree for treatment.” Yellowjackets are related to wasps, and they normally nest in the ground. However, they can infest tree hollows, walls, attics, and other above ground spaces.

Damaged turnips.

Turnips with both brown heart & hollow heart, a boron deficiency. Photo: Keith Hawkins, LSU AgCenter

Turnip Disorder

Roy from DeRidder brought in a couple of turnips with interior damage as shown in the photo.These turnips have a condition called, “brown heart” or “hollow heart.” Our friends in the province of New Brunswick, Canada have an agricultural page and share this information, “The most common problems associated with boron deficiency are Brown Heart of turnips and rutabaga, hollow stem, and stem discoloration in broccoli, browning of cauliflower curds, and Black Spot in beets. Of these crops, turnips, rutabagas, and beets are the most severely affected by boron deficiency.

Brown Heart can be found in turnip and rutabagas by splitting open a root where firm, water-soaked patches occur on the flesh. The tissue may eventually turn brownish and become pulpy and hollow. Affected roots will not store well.

To prevent problems with boron deficiency, apply soluble boron (i.e.. Solubor, or Borax).”

A cat proof garden.

Asparagus bed with netting. Photo: Christy Frederic, Master Gardener, Pineville, LA

More Catproofing

A few weeks ago, RSFF discussed how to cat-proof a garden. Christy of Pineville shared some information, and a picture of her cat resistance measures.“[AHA], I recall a comment about cats getting into the veggie patch. Not sure this will help but here is the solution I use:

I have two asparagus beds that neighboring cats love to lounge in and no telling what else they are doing in there. I used some netting installed vertically to encircle the bottoms of the beds. The netting is about 20 inches wide and attached to stakes around the beds. So far the cats are only looking confused, and none have breached the net barrier.

It is not easy to see the netting installed so I hope it is visible here. I use similar netting horizontally over raised beds and that netting can support floating row cover over baby plants.”

If you want to contact Roots, Shoots, Fruits, and Flowers, please send your questions and pictures to Keith Hawkins, Area Horticulture Agent (AHA), 337.284.5188 or

“Before you buy or use an insecticide product, first read the label, and strictly follow label recommendations. Mention of trade names or commercial products in this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute endorsement by Louisiana State University AgCenter.”

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

12/8/2022 2:12:28 PM
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