Monday, 9 September 2013

Anybody know what this is?


Every Autumn our wild roses in the hedgerows about the farm are covered in these tiny fuzzy balls.   When we were children we always called them 'Robins pincushions' and I know they are some kind of gall (a growth on the stem of a plant, which houses a parasite of some kind).   They are so pretty that it would be a shame if they housed some really nasty thing and did harm to the plant, but I can't think they do because each year we have a magnificent show of wild roses.  Can anyone enlighten me?   I shall now pop over to Stuart Dunlop's blog (Donegal Wildlife) as he is marvellous at identification and will surely provide an answer.

10 comments:

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diplolepis_rosae
Yes, it's called Robin's Pincushion gall or at least that's one of the common names. Stress makes it appear more. And a wasp is inside.

Rachel said...

I think you said what it is in the post. It is a gall and a parasitic wasp lives there and the wild rose kindly fabricates a nice nest for it and they look quite pretty and bobs your uncle.

Alison said...

A fellow blogger did an article on Robins Pin cushions.
Cabinet of Curiosities by Phil Gates. Scroll down to robin.
Thank you for your blog

stuart dunlop said...

As others have said, you're almost there already...:) It's a gall made by the Cynipid Wasp Diplolepis rosae. Galls are caused when a female wasp lays her eggs and the growth pattern of the plant is subsequently altered. This unusual growth creates a home where her larva lives and feeds until maturity. No long-lasting damage is caused, and the plant will continue next year as normal.

Cloudia said...

aliens among us?

ALOHA from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral
=^..^= <3
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Em Parkinson said...

I've often wondered what they are too Pat so am delighted to have found out thanks to your other followers!

Elizabeth Wix said...

See how useful fellow bloggers are!

mrsnesbitt said...

Fascinating! We learn something new every day.

Heather said...

I do know what it is but can't give it it's proper name. It is so pretty and hard to believe it's a pest.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks for filling in the background of the Robins' Pincushion - and thanks for providing its proper name Stuart - I knew you would turn up trumps.