Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Hover Flies on the Yarrow

Somewhere down the line what I think is a native yarrow came up like a weed. It had such a neat leaf structure, similar to a fern but smaller, so I let it grow some. It also had the added benefit of being somewhere that a plant like this should be. Last year it flowered and I was more or less okay with. I'm not a huge fan of the flowers, it keeps falling over, and overall it kind of annoyed me.

But then it flowered this year and though I still have the same feelings about the plant. It has attracted swarms of hover flies. Just droves and droves of them. What's more I see them wondering all over the garden and onto other plants. The majority of them though tend to congregate around this one yarrow plant.

I suppose this is what marketing means when plants are labeled with "Attracts Beneficial Insects and Pollinators." The larval stage to most Hover Flies is actually a predator of aphids. I'm thinking some of these flies are the result of my allowing 14 new trees in the yard to become absolutely infested with aphids. As an update to the aphid "problem" they all up and vanished mysteriously one day. I never learned why but now I have tons of hover flies lightly buzzing around the yard.