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Jam Lady

Any Pests Eat Wild Bluebells?

Here in New Jersey white tail deer nip the tips of young shoots on Spanish bluebells. Gives them an odd, flat top look.


Do not come back and eat more of the leaves. Do not eat flowers. Nothing, apparently, chows down on the bulbs.

Just curious - are there any critters that eat above ground / below ground portions of English bluebells?
dpack

im fairly sure badgers will have a go at the bulbs .i have heard the crunching and seen holes but i dont know for definite that the hole had contained only bluebell bulbs.

it is quite possible that it was eating something else and the bluebells were "bycatch"
Falstaff

Why am I getting the feeling that bluebells are poisonous ?
Mistress Rose

I think they are, but muncjac deer will eat the leaves and flowers. I have seen a patch ruined by the beasts. Have a feeling that wild boar may also eat them including the bulbs, but not too sure about that. Roe deer sometimes nip the leaves, as your white tailed deer do Jam Lady, but don't do that much damage.

I have seen reports that you can make a glue with the bulbs, but have never tried it.
dpack

the reports of them being toxic vary considerably from deadly(no evidence)to harmful in large amounts(better evidence based on the reports of other plants which i know are accurate)
Falstaff

I don't suppose they're deadly - not much is.

It sounds as though the tips of the young leaves may be edible.
dpack

as not much eats them perhaps they taste vile
pops into yard where there are a few under the fruiting bramble

on the principal of nowt like experience i can now report the leaf tips are a bit grassy with a slight bitter aftertaste(glycosides perhaps)

no serious adverse fast reaction from chewing a tiny bit but my lip is tingling a bit which is usually a good reason to avoid that plant as food

i will post if owt dreadful happens Laughing
dpack

toothpaste mostly gets rid of the taste ,the tingle and slight numbness persists .

probable best avoided Laughing
Chez

Chickens seem to have eaten the ones in my garden. Or stood on them.
dpack

the numb tingle took about an hour to go from a quick nibble on a few mm off the end of a leaf.

i recon eating a mouthful would probably be poorly sick time .

not salad.
Falstaff

Thanks for one "Above and beyond the call of duty" dpack.

I'd knit you a nice pink bobble hat as a reward - 'cept I can't knit ! Embarassed
dpack

the mk one lip is a fine tool for a "food taster" if used carefully.

unfortunately it would be very unreliable with shrooms which can only be tested the hard way(or by learning from someone else's experience)
Falstaff

Yep some of they mushrooms can be a bit of a challenge for sure - that ol' "nighty night cap" is supposed to taste quite good in fact -! - 'til you die a week later !

Shocked

That's just out of order ! Not a "defence mechanism" - just plain spiteful !

Not too sure about whether your method would work with Hemlock for example - but then - I'm non too sure how deadly "hemlock" is either !
Jam Lady

Thank you one and all and especially dpack! I've been seeing damage to usually untouched plants this Spring. Not just heart of winter / unrelenting snow cover but right now with Spring fling well under way. Attribute it back to the snow, however, in that voles could cheerfully tunnel around unseen by hawks and owls so larger than normal populations.
Mistress Rose

Voles can cause a lot of damage. Tree spirals are pushed well down in the ground to stop them ring barking very young tree whips for that reason. By loosening the ground they might affect the bluebells. Another thing is changing light levels. We have had the wood 12 years now, and as some trees have grown they have reduced the light in various places and some things don't grow there, or don't grow as well now.
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