- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
I beg your pardon,
I never promised you a rose garden.
Along with the sunshine,
There's gotta be a little rain sometimes.
And maybe a rose curculio or rose weevil.
When Grammy-winning songwriter Joe South wrote "I Never Promised You a Rose Garden," popularized by country singer Lynn Anderson, he mentioned nothing about the rose curculio or rose weevil.
Perhaps he should have.
This distinctive looking enemy of roses is a brick red and black weevil with a long comical-looking snout that it uses to feed on rose buds and petals. The female lays her eggs inside the buds.
The rose curculio seems to prefer yellow and white roses. I saw this little critter atop a yellow rose in a local alley. The faded, ragged blossoms and the hole-riddled petals provided clear testimony to its presence.
The scientific name of the rose curculio is Merhynchites bicolor. Bicolor? That’s because of its two colors. The thorax and elytra (elytra are the modified, hardened forewings that protect the hindwings underneath) are a lacquered brick red, while the long snout is solid black--as black as a villain's moustache in a turn-of-the-century melodrama.
If the rose curculio were 40 feet tall, you’d coil in terror.