Ask a Question forum→Lily of the valley - is something eating the leaves?

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chicago, IL
poche
May 30, 2020 1:02 PM CST
My lily of the valley look like they've been eaten by something. Some of the leaves have 4 cut marks near the tips of the leaves. Others look like they've been chewed at almost entirely. We've never experienced this before with these plants and we've had them for years. Any ideas?
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Name: Rick R.
Minneapolis, MN, USA zone 4
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Leftwood
May 30, 2020 3:28 PM CST
That all looks like mechanical damage that happened at a much earlier stage. Perhaps even as early as when they were first emerging from the ground. The first pic shows how the leaf was damaged while it was still rolled up. Something pierced or sliced/damaged through multiple leaf layers through one side of the roll. When the leaf unfurled, you get this repeating pattern. The other pics show similar early damage of a more general nature. It's so easy to step on plants that you don't realize are there until it is too late, or brush against them when they are at that very delicate stage of new growth. The weird growth is due to some parts of the leaves being damaged and stopping growth, while other parts continue to grow in disproportion.

This happens all the time for me with Hosta clausa var. clausa. This kind of hosta creeps underground and spreads. It regularly grows into my walk paths and I don't always have time to dig them out so I just kinda ignore them and they get walked on or damaged as they come up in the spring, even if I may try to miss them with my feet. Notice that the undamaged leaves in the pics are newer and emerged later.

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When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the losers. - Socrates
chicago, IL
poche
May 30, 2020 3:35 PM CST
Ah! Ok, now the regularity of the pattern makes sense. Wondered if it was a strange new breed of chipmunk! Thanks for your response.

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