poor, fertile, medium fertility, drained, sandy, sandy loam, loamy
Representatives of the genus Zopnik (Phlomis) They live mainly in Southern Europe, Asia Minor and Central Asia and are characterized by a powerful branched root system, a rosette of large matte grayish-green leaves from pubescence, from which tetrahedral leafy stems grow from 20 to 120 (rarely 150) cm in height.Small (up to 2 cm) flowers are collected in whorls and arranged in tiers in long inflorescences.
In ancient times, due to the dense tomentose pubescence of the stems, some types of zopnik were used to make wicks, which gave the name to the whole genus: phlos translated from Greek means "fire". Plant leaves - triangular, heart-shaped or oval - form a thick carpet that lasts from April to October.
Tuberous zopnik (Phlomis tuberosa)
Long roots zopnik tuberous tuberous thickenings are formed, the so-called "earthy nuts". The stems reach 60–150 cm and are often purple in color. This decorative feature is clearly manifested in varieties Amazone, Bronze Flamingo... The upper part of the dark green leaves is glabrous, and the lower part is pubescent. The pubescent flowers of pink or purple color are collected in dense whorls and appear in June-July, seeds are formed by August.
Russell's Zopnik (Phlomis russeliana)
Russell's Zopnik - a long-lived plant with slow growth forms a dense carpet of rosettes of large, dull from pubescence, yellowish-green leaves. Stems 20–60 cm high, rarely taller, in July-August at the tops covered with inflorescences of dense dense whorls of yellow or pale yellow flowers.
Conditions for growing zopniks
The southern origin of the zopniks explains their preferences. Choose for them a sunny, hot and windless corner of the garden, otherwise the growth will be weak and the bloom will be inexpressive. Tuberous zopnik tolerates light partial shade, but both the appearance and varieties reach maximum decorativeness in a brightly lit warm place. Zopniks are undemanding to the level of soil fertility. Drought is not terrible for them - they will more easily tolerate a short-term lack of moisture than waterlogging. Moreover, the death of zopniks in winter is often caused not by low temperatures, but by soaking on damp soils.
In the spring it is necessary to cut the stems (the faded inflorescences of the bush are very decorative in winter, so it is better to leave them in the fall). You can thin out too dense carpets of rosettes of leaves and get young plants, carefully chopping the cut with a shovel. In summer, if the weather is extremely dry, the plants need to be watered periodically.
Zopniks easily reproduce by seeds without stratification, blooming 3-4 years after sowing. Varietal plants are propagated only by dividing the bush in late August - September or spring.
Zopniki in garden design
Stably decorative, with a peculiar beauty of leaves and inflorescences, zopniks will undoubtedly be good in a mixborder, border, group, they will become an excellent tapeworm on the lawn in natural-style gardens, they will decorate the south side of the house or fence. The leaves form a dense, dense carpet in the foreground or middle of the flower garden. Peduncles can be cut for bouquets, and those left on the plant add a unique beauty to the winter landscape. Tiers of whorls create the effect of airiness, light haze, covering the plants located behind. In company with Russell's zopnik will look spectacular autumn asters, lightning, pike, large-flowered stachis Superba, oak sage Amethyst, tuberous zopnikAmazone... And in the flower beds of Pete Udolph tuberous zopnik advantageously adjoins astrania, yarrow, liatris and autumnanemones... It is also good in combination with purple and pink roses. Interesting compositions will be obtained when zopniks are adjacent to mullein, catnip, veronicastrum.
Harg shrub, or Harch, or Homfokarpus shrub (Gomphocarpus fruticosus (L.) BR., Synonym - Asclepias fruticosa)
A species of milkweed, a shrub 40-60 cm high with opposite lanceolate leaves 7-10 cm long, of the Apocynaceae family. Flowers on long stalks, collected in umbellate inflorescences. Green shaft with white hairy axillary fruit. The fruits are filled with air and resemble balloons. The fruits are not edible. Blooms in June - July, seeds ripen in September - October.
Common name: Hairy balls, Monkey balls, Family jewels, Balloons plant, Bladderbush, Swan plant, Cotton bush.
Plant tissues secrete a toxic milky sap that can irritate the skin, especially when exposed to sunlight.
For medicinal purposes, seeds and leafy shoots are collected, from which cardiac glycosides are obtained.
Best suited for planting in separate groups. It is interesting as an original plant with an unusual, albeit discreet color of inflorescences, which have a unique delicate aroma - that is why they are popularly called "fragrant bouquets".
A good honey plant, and bees and butterflies willingly visit it.
This plant is unpretentious in care. Harg can grow on almost any soil, even on poor soil, does not need fertilization. On the contrary, they can promote the growth of the plant, but it will practically not bloom. It is noted that Kharg is rarely ill. The only thing a plant cannot do without is an abundance of sunlight. To reduce the loss of moisture in the plant, the tops of its stems are removed along with the leaves.
For the winter, it requires mulching and covering with a dry leaf or spruce branches.
Harg is one of the most important parts of bouquets, it can also be used as a dried flower.
Landing: Sowing seeds is carried out in April, in a loose substrate to a depth of 2-3 cm. The seeds are germinated at a temperature of about 22-24C. After the emergence of seedlings, the temperature of the content is lowered to 18-20C. In grown seedlings, pinch the tops for tillering. Seedlings are planted in open ground after the threat of frost has passed, around the end of May or the beginning of June. Seedlings are planted immediately to a permanent place.
The appearance of barbel beetles
A distinctive feature of the family is considered to be a luxurious long, segmented and mobile mustache, in some cases significantly exceeding the length of the body.
The carapace is strong, thin, relatively small, but functional wings are hidden under the rigid elytra.
The beetles themselves are exceptionally beautiful and graceful. The collection of the largest and most prominent representatives of these coleopterans is compulsorily collected by every novice etymologist. The collection usually includes a huge beetle - titanium, alpine barbel, Ussuri giant and steppe black barbel. Even the six-centimeter black barbel beetle, which is often found in the Rostov and Stavropol regions, makes the most lasting impression. These beetles are nocturnal and, unlike other insects, prefer space. That is, the path of the barbel beetle through your bedroom will not run along the wall, but right in the center, not at all embarrassed by the illuminated places. For an unprepared person, a meeting with a huge beetle, clearly considering itself the owner of the room, the meeting can be shocking.
Beetle behavior in nature
An adult beetle poses no danger to humans. Despite its frightening jaws, the beetle has a meek and docile disposition, poses with pleasure, does not hide or run away, is not afraid to sit in the palm of your hand, does not make any attempts to bite or harm a person. Males are much larger than females, have longer whiskers and a slender elongated body. Females are distinguished by their roundness and not too long whiskers - much shorter than that of males of the same species.
The mustache is an important tactile organ. With them, the beetle feels the surroundings, catches changes in temperature and humidity. If the beetle is frightened, it folds its whiskers parallel to its body to make it appear less noticeable. In a normal state, the whiskers are extended up and forward and help the beetle to navigate in space.
What does the barbel beetle eat
The food of an adult insect is succulent plants, flowers, pollen, tender bark of young plants. Adult beetles are rare gourmets, extremely harmless and cute creatures.
The pests are voracious larvae of the barbel beetle. The larva has a lifespan of 1-2 years, but under certain conditions it can exist in a tree mass for several decades, in some cases up to 50 years. In a few months, a colony of barbel larvae is capable of completely destroying a wooden dwelling house along with ceilings and furniture, making it uninhabitable. In fairness, we note that not all longhorns eat trees. Some larvae are able to feed on soil and humus, herbaceous plants, and roots.
Many species of barbel beetles can fly. Not always, only during the mating season. Flying expands its habitat and makes it possible for interspecific crossing, which is common among longhorn beetles. The flight range is usually not too long, from several tens of meters to a couple of kilometers.
Why do beetles make such loud noises
An additional interesting feature of the barbel can be considered a kind of crunchy squeak, which is obtained when the hind legs rub against the rigid elytra and the rib on the abdomen. The sounds are quite loud, quite capable of turning a wooden house into a Silent Hill playground or other standard horror movie for a city dweller. Villagers see the sweet creak of the house as a cozy attribute of a quiet life off the beaten track.
Grinding sounds carry a functional load - they scare rodents and small predators, and during the mating season, a loud creak allows the beetles to find suitable partners.
Barbel life cycle
The life cycle of most barbel species takes 1-2 years. The female beetle lays several hundred, up to 400 eggs in a suitable place - a moistened grassy substrate, in a soft bark, having previously made a hole, in a gap between the boards or in a defect in a log or board. The female can lay eggs even in a tiny piece of bark, in the hope that in the future the larva will take care of itself, gnawing through hard tree species. Some species lay eggs in the bark one at a time, gnawing out a separate cavity for each egg.
The main condition for the successful development of larvae from eggs is warmth and humidity. The larva is a white worm without legs, but with tenacious outgrowths along the edges of the body and with a dark head armed with powerful jaws that can gnaw through any wood. Different types of longhorn beetles prefer different types of tree, but in general, most beetles are able to feed on any tree. Since there are many larvae, one clutch can immediately cause serious harm.
With the onset of cold weather, the larva goes into the depths of the tree species and waits out unfavorable conditions. With warming and the return of high-grade humidity, the larva returns to the outer layers of the wood, pupates safely, passes the imago stage, gnaws a way to the surface, and a new adult beetle is born.
The viability of the larvae is very high. Scientists consider these beetles to be the same age as dinosaurs, which have quite successfully survived in all their diversity to this day. Under unfavorable conditions, the larvae are, as it were, preserved inside the wood and can remain viable for decades. If there is insufficient nutrition, small beetles are obtained from undernourished larvae after pupation.
After birth, the adult beetle lives for only a few months, until about mid-summer. During this time, the beetles manage to fly, find suitable partners, and arrange the masonry.
The largest barbel in the world
The largest representatives of barbel beetles live in South America. The titanium beetle reaches a length of 17 cm, excluding the length of the whiskers. A large-toothed deer-horned or stag beetle can be more than 18 cm. The largest barbel in Russia, the relict Ussuri, reaches only 11 cm, but this is also a lot.
The color of the beetles can be any, depending on the habitat. Due to their considerable size, adult insects may not be too afraid of becoming food for birds. Small predators are scared off by beetles with a sharp and loud creak.
Role of barbel in the wild
Within the ecosystem, the role of prolific and active longhorns is significant. Larvae and adults are excellent food for birds and small mammals.
Active and voracious larvae are involved in the disposal of old and sick trees, windbreak. It is not for nothing that the beetle is called a lumberjack. Scientists are investigating the connection between the life of woodcutter beetles and the spread of mycelium - mycelium inside stumps and fallen trees. The essence of the problem is as follows - wood alone is not enough for feeding the larvae and normal maturation. Protein-rich myceliums become a good help in feeding the beetle larvae. But on the other hand, it is much easier for the mycelium to penetrate the loose and oxygenated wood already affected by the larvae. An interesting symbiosis of fungi and larvae is the topic of many studies in the field of ecology.
With the help of beetles, old stumps quickly turn into a nutritious substrate on which grasses and young plants can grow. Adult beetles and adults play an important role in pollination of plants as they feed on pollen.
The most dangerous barbel
This is a house beetle of dark or black color, which has chosen residential wooden houses as its main habitat. The beetle itself is very large, has a body up to 8 cm or up to 20 cm if you count with a mustache. The larvae are relatively small, about 3 cm long and about 3-5 mm in diameter. The beetle settles in window frames, ceilings, partitions, furniture.
The black barbel beetle develops only in processed coniferous, mainly spruce, pine and larch wood, for example, in beams, poles, etc. Strong damage wood in buildings and buildings is observed primarily in areas with high air humidity (for example, seaside, coastal areas), especially where the air temperature is high enough.
The beetle years begins in mid-June and lasts until August, occurs on hot days, especially at lunchtime and afternoon. They fly over relatively short distances. The female lives only about 25 days, and lays eggs only 12 days, immediately after mating. Oviposition is influenced by light intensity, terpene odor and irritation of the touching substrate. The female lays the testicles in the cracks of the wood to a depth of 20-30 mm. In 2-8 receptions, the female can lay an average of 200, at most 420 eggs, of which larvae hatch in 1-3 weeks. Soon they begin to gnaw through passages, oval in section, passing only through layers of spring wood and clogged with fine drill flour and excrement. Gradually the passages widen up to 12 mm in diameter. The surface layer of the wood remains intact, sometimes as thin as paper. Gradually, the sapwood is completely eroded, while the kernel usually remains intact. Adult larvae prepare a flight hole for future beetles, then widen the course and arrange a pupal cradle, which is lined with shavings on one side, and clogged with drilling flour on the other. The larva goes through the prepupal stage, which lasts 1-2 weeks. The pupal stage lasts 2-4 weeks. When the body of a young beetle gets stronger, it leaves the wood through an oval hole.All development lasts 2-10 years, most often 3-6 years and depends on the quality of food, temperature and moisture content of the wood.
Black Barbel Lumberjack circulated in Europe, Siberia, the Caucasus, Transcaucasia, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Asia Minor and China. In the south, it is found up to northern Africa; it was also introduced to southern Africa and North America. The black lumberjack barbel is a dangerous technical pest of wood in buildings and structures.
The harm done by longhorn beetles
All harm relates exclusively to the active destruction of wooden property and buildings. However, the damage to buildings, floors, furniture can be substantial. The barbel beetle successfully turns quality wood into dust. Damaged walls and ceilings can become life threatening due to the possibility of collapse.
How to understand that a structure is infected with larvae
If small piles of wood dust appear on or near a wooden wall, this is a sure sign of the presence of a woodworm. Don't expect new signs, such as a roof collapse. Take action. Unfortunately, the larva has all the good cards - she is safe, she has a lot of good food, if she does not like the conditions, she can go deeper and spend ten years there. There are no chemicals that penetrate to a considerable depth in the tree. Accordingly, the danger of infection will persist.
Oddly enough, many woodworms adore hardwood - oak, mahogany, ash, walnut. Such furniture and interior panels, stairs are very expensive. You can understand that precious wood needs to be saved by a characteristic thud. Well-impregnated hardwood sounds ringing upon impact. A dull sound means the presence of winding passages, eaten by beetle larvae. Some cabinetmakers have learned not only to save things eaten away by a bug, but also to give the restored surfaces with caverns filled with synthetic resin a special beauty. Such a pleasure costs quite serious money even for antiques, but the result is amazing.
Relatively soft wood - spruce, pine, birch, suffer from the bug more. Determining the presence of a bug by sound is more difficult. Do not knock on wood with your knuckles, but with the back of the hammer. If the surface bends and the sound is completely dull, it's bad. Heavily eaten wood can be pierced even with a good screwdriver. The affected fragments must be immediately removed and replaced, having previously performed the treatment from the barbel beetle larvae.
Is it possible to get rid of barbel larvae
It is quite difficult, almost impossible to get rid of the larvae completely and guaranteed. But it is quite possible to make the larva die. The treatment is carried out with an extremely dangerous agent. The basis of the toxic substances is phosphine. Also, the innovation in the Russian market XILIX GEL allows you to give a guarantee for processed objects for 10 years.
Read more about the phosphine fumigation process here.
Being inside the house during treatment without a gas mask is completely excluded. After a few hours, you can ventilate the premises and perform external wall treatment. Phosphine-based toxic substances are highly volatile and quickly disappear.
Prevention and protection
When building a wooden house, sauna, decoration, roof, rafters, wooden floors, make sure of the quality of wooden materials. They should not show the characteristic signs of infestation by woodworm larvae. All bark, bast, must be completely hewn away, without the slightest trace. The porous structure of the bark and bast is an ideal habitat for larvae, which will make their way further and at a good speed. Even a small patch of bark left inadvertently can become a source of infection for an entire home. Burn the removed bark, do not leave it for the winter.
Pay attention to wood processing
Defects of the board and timber, the presence of nicks, cracks, rot are convenient places for laying beetles. The cracks between logs, beams, tow made of natural materials are a direct invitation of woodworms to the house. Use mineral wool, insect repellent, seal all cracks until completely smooth. The wood must be treated with a special impregnation, and then coated with linseed oil and varnish or a liquid coating with a plasticizing effect.
When using varnishes and drying oils, the outer coating of the wood must be renewed annually. Otherwise, insects will destroy the house very quickly. In cold climates with long winters, woodcutter beetles are not very active. Homes can last for hundreds of years and remain solid. In humid and warm climates, beetle larvae are a serious danger and very quickly destroy unprotected tree structures.