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Press Release: Rare Gall Discovered

APRIL 1, 2010
april first Ceanothus

Rare stem gall discovered on native plant.
Nursery owners are shocked and delighted.

April 1, 2010, San Juan Capistrano.  The extremely rare Ceanothus Giant Stem Gall appeared on Ceaonthus ‘Concha’ overnight at Tree of Life Nursery.  “We have never seen this rare pest,” remarked co-owner Jeff Bohn, who is in charge of integrated pest management at the nursery.

In researching the phenomenon, it was discovered that the grubs inside the gall are edible and known to be highly nutritious and tasty.  Co-owner Mike Evans who camped at the nursery last night, got up early to make coffee and breakfast.  “You can fry them in oil like sausages,” he said.  “They are soft and sweet.  Good hot or cold.”

The gall is formed as the plant reacts to the Giant Ceanothus Moth laying her eggs on the stem.  As the eggs hatch, the gall forms and grows on the stem, protecting the immature grubs as they increase in size.  At full-term, the grubs are three inches in length and one-half inch in girth.  They exit from the gall, drop onto the soil beneath the plant, dig down deep, and pupate.  Adults hatch and emerge only once every 50 to 70 years.  Jeff reiterated, “This is very rare.  We may never see this again in our lifetime.”

“By no means do we intend to eat them all,” said Evans.  “We practice sustainability in everything we do, so we will collect an appropriate number for consumption, and leave the rest to continue with their remarkable life cycle.”

Free samples of the cooked grubs will be available for taste testing all day at the nursery’s retail center Casa ‘La Paz’, all day today, and today only!

Ceanothus 'Concha',   March 31st

Ceanothus with newly   discovered Galls