By Margaret Bayne, OSU Extension Staff-retired, OSU Master Gardener

January 2019

Myth busting- Poinsettia plant is irritating but not fatal.  “The Bottom Line: The poinsettia plant is often considered deadly. That’s wrong. Poinsettia can be irritating but it is not fatal if eaten. If children and pets eat it, they can develop a mouth rash and stomach upset. The sap can cause a skin rash, too.” (Rose Ann Gould Soloway, Clinical Toxicologist & Serkalem Mekonnen, Certified Specialist in poison Information;

NEW OSU PUBLICATION: Pacific Poison Oak and Western Poison Ivy-Identification and Management. (Brooke Edmunds, et al; OSU)

Paranthrene simulans clearwing moth. University of Georgia

Night-flyers or day-trippers?  A new study sheds light on when moths, and butterflies are active. (Natalie van Hoose, Floridamuseum- U of Florida)

Learn about pheromone traps from the experts. “Pheromones are chemicals used by insects and other animals to communicate with each other. Insects send these chemical signals to help attract mates, warn others of predators, or find food.” (

Learn how plants evolved to make ants their servants.  “Plants are boring. They just sit there photosynthesizing while animals have all the fun. Right? Not so much. Take a look at the interactions between ants and plants.” (

How do trees survive winter months? (Michael Snyder, Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation via

Gardening could be the hobby that helps you live to 100!  “Many of the world’s centenarians share one common hobby: gardening.” (Jamie Feldmar,

Is the insect apocalypse here?  And what does it mean for the rest of life on Earth?(Brooke Jarvi,

12 beautiful photo examples of Guttation.  “Guttation is the exudation of drops of sap (xylem) on the tips or edges of leaves of some vascular plants, such as grasses. Guttation is not to be confused with dew, which condenses from the atmosphere onto the plant surface.” (

Maple with winter injury. Jay Pscheidt, OSU

Winter injury of landscape plants in the pacific northwest.  Great info from OSU! (

Don’t think Arachnids are loving?  Learn about the spider who nurses its young with milky liquid. (

How to get rid of pantry pests.  Watch the video! (U of California IPM via

Christmas Cactus Confusion.  Did you get a Christmas Cactus or did you really get a Thanksgiving Cactus? (WOS,

Plant roots- hidden masters of chemistry.  Check out the infographic. (Lucas Busta, U of Nebraska via

Rare microbes lead scientists to discover new branch on the tree of life.  “Hemimastigotes are more different from all other living things than animals are from fungi.” (Emily Chung,

Fall leaves of Pin Oak, OSU Landscape Plant ID

“Ever wondered why some deciduous trees hold on to their leaves through the winter and others go bare? Learn about marcescent leaves and why they might just help a tree out.” (Jim Finley, Penn State via Jeffcogardener,  Colorado State Extension)

Rainforest vine compound reportedly starves pancreatic cancer cells. (

How chloroplasts maintain energy efficiency. (University of Hong Kong via

Mexico’s endangered stingless bees mysteriously find a sweeter home in Cuba. (Sadie Witkowski,

‘Insect soup’ holds DNA key for monitoring biodiversity. (University of East Anglia, via

Researchers find first evidence of DNA swapping between insects and mammals. (Clay Dillow,

Critical collections- The importance of biological samples and their preservation goes beyond the obvious. (Peter Reuell, Harvard Gazette)

Say What: Pronouncing Botanical Latin (Rebecca Alexander,

Photosynthesis makes a sound.  The ping of algae turning sunlight into energy adds to the soundscape of marine ecosystems. (Sarah Keartes,

Scientists Develop World’s First Vaccination For Insects To Help Save Honey Bees. “Scientists have developed a new edible vaccine to help honeybees stave off potentially deadly bacterial infections. This is the very first “inoculation” designed specifically for insects.” (Rosie McCall,

PDF 2019 January Horticultural Updates

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