Guess the Pest! Week 21 Answer: Palmer Amaranth

David Owens, Extension Entomologist,

Congratulations to Bob Leiby and Claire, among many others, for correctly identifying the photo as Palmer amaranth. This was one of the most-guessed quizzes on the year. Obviously it stirs quite a bit of hatred. But I did want last week to be a bit more light-hearted. How? The photo is of a male Palmer on the left and a female Palmer on the right. The female is bad news. The male Palmer is one of the only pollen sources around for honeybees right now, (at least until goldenrod, boneset, and asters are in bloom), and this plant had dozens of bees collecting it. Bees do not visit female plants. So as I was trimming the Palmer down in my watermelon field so I could spray bugs and keep the farm manager happy, I tried to leave a few of the male Palmer. The female in the photo got whacked. Remember, Save the bees! Save the weeds!