One definite leaf eater is the witch-hazel leaf gall aphid (Hormaphis hamamelidis). You can leave them be or pick them off – your choice. Leaves are simple and alternate, about 6” long, and dark green. Chemicals produced by the egg laying and feeding activities cause most insect and mite galls This species of aphid feeds on witch hazel and birch trees. The aphid, through saliva injects a chemical into the plant that forms the narrow cone-shaped gall. More information on Hamamelis x intermedia . 1958. Hamamelis, also known as witch hazel, was first discovered around 1548. Unusually for aphids, this cycle take two years to complete. We discuss it's curious history and seemingly magical qualities. That’s why you see ants on the branches. My seedlings have them, too. The insect’s chemical secretions create pyramidal cones that rise out of the leaf to house their eggs. The first and third growing season we’ve found these wierd green and pink growths on the leaves. I was thrilled to discover that this shrub easily supports numerous other kinds of insects, such as a very slim caterpillar that pulls a leaf edge over itself that is as neatly folded as a napkin! When the leaves emerge, they start depositing their eggs into the undersides of the leaf. Studying and re-reading older wildflower books and field guides is instructive and sometimes highly entertaining. ©2020 Walter Reeves / The Simple Gardener, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Habitats include typical woodlands and Witch-hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) leaf with cone gall aphid that builds the structure resembling the "witches hat". The gall induced on witch-hazel is cone-shaped, leading to another common name being the Witch-hazel cone gall aphid. The galls are green, sometimes with reddish tips, and are formed on the upper leaf surfaces. Dormant oil … 4.8 out of 5 stars 1,216. Range & Habitat:The native Witch-Hazel is uncommon in central and northern Illinois, while in the southern part of the state it is rare or absent (see Distribution Map). The aphid’s offspring then develop inside the gall where they are protected from predators as they develop, getting the nutrients they need from the sap of the plant. ( Log Out /  Each gall, produced by single aphid, later becomes filled with offspring. Q: We have an older Witch Hazel (yellow bloomer) that we transplanted a few years ago. The first and third growing season we’ve found these wierd green and pink growths on the leaves. They may be the aphids that cause cone galls on witch hazel. Powdery mildew, occasional leaf spots, and rots are diseases to watch for. These galls are caused by the witch hazel gall aphid, Hormaphis hamamelidis. The shrub’s scalloped-edged leaves are pocked by unusual growths, called galls, formed by the witch-hazel leaf-gall aphid. Complete mitochondrial genome of the witch-hazel leaf gall aphid Hamamelistes spinosus (Hemiptera: Aphididae: Hormaphidinae) Mitochondrial DNA Part B: Vol. The witch-hazel cone gall aphid(Hormaphis hamamelidis) is a minuscule insect, a member of the aphid superfamily, whose presence on a witch-hazelplant is easily recognizable by a conical gallstructure, green at first, it turns bright red. $9.99 Herbal Sampler: Psychic/Spirituality Herbs. This paper is a very thorough study of the witch hazel gall aphids: Lewis, I.F. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your account. No real lasting harm will be done by these galls. She thrusts her needle mouth into the junction and begins to feed, sucking the sweet sap from the plant. Witch-Hazel leaf gall aphid causes galls 1/2-inch-long. Done I like to think that these witch's-hat-like galls are what inspired the plant's common name, but the literature says otherwise. $25.38 Witchhazel Leaf Cut and Sifted 16oz (1 Pound) 5.0 out of 5 stars 1. These galls are caused by the witch hazel gall aphid,  Hormaphis hamamelidis. At this time of year there is a species of aphid, Hormaphis hamamelidis, that is laying eggs on Witch-hazel branches. They have wavy, sometimes toothed margins, and are elliptical in shape. Witch Hazel Leaf Gall aphids are more vulnerable to predation on their alternate host, the birch tree, where they do not make a gall. Native Witch hazel is flowering now under its bright yellow leaves with witch hat galls in a woods near you. Natural enemies usually control this insect; hand picking and destroying infested leaves will also be helpful. (2020). This insect is … This gall, rich in nutrients, provides both food and shelter for the female aphid. 1388-1389. The aphids are now long gone, but the structures remain for the life of the leaf. Witch-hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) leaf with Witch-hazel cone gall, caused by an aphid (Hormaphis hamamelidis) Both of these aphids spend part of their life cycle on birch trees. Aphids emerge from cones in the late spring/early summer and fly to birch to lay eggs. Although the galls are odd-looking, they do little harm to your plants. As they grow, the aphids suck a tremendous amount of plant sap in order to extract proteins. Similar to the spiny witch-hazel gall aphid, Witch-hazel leaf gall aphidssplit generations between birch and witch-hazel plants. When the first generation is … The galls are caused by the Witch Hazel Cone Gall Aphid (Hormaphis hamamelidis).