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

April 2019

Photo: University Connecticut

Corn gluten meal did not prevent weeds from germinating in OSU study. (Tom Cook, OSU)

A gardener’s primer to cold hardiness, part 2 (see part 1 in last month’s MG newsletter-Horticultural Updates) (Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott, WSU)

Insect Apocalypse?The underlying science does not indicate that a global “insect apocalypse” is anywhere near imminent.”  Read what the Entomological Society says about the recent media reports of the demise of insects. (

You are what you eat: A color-changing insect modifies diet to become distasteful. “Lanternflies change diet and color to become distasteful and signal distastefulness.”

Seed Oddities: Vivipary-The type of vivipary discussed is quite rare, occurring in only a handful of species and prevalent in a select number of environments. (

Individual lichens can have up to three fungiaccording to new research from an international team of researchers. This evidence provides new insight into another recent discovery that showed lichen are made up of more than a single fungus and alga, overturning the prevailing theory of more than 150 years.” (University of Alberta, via

Extracellular DNA, in plant health and hardship. “…in plants, there’s no blood or specialized immune cells to retaliate against pathogens.”  Learn now plants ensure a speedy return to health. (Sophia Swartz,

Winter leaf Marcescence– learn why some trees hold onto last year’s leaves longer in the spring than other trees. (Joey Williamson, Clemson U)

Arborvitae stands tall as a low-maintenance hedge. (Neil Bell, via Kym Pokorny, OSU)

3-D Scans Reveal Caterpillars Turning Into Butterflies-Amazing video! (Ed Yong,

Feel the Heat: Temperature and Germination- “Thinking of it this way, seeds and germination are just like Goldilocks and her porridge – there’s too hot, too cold, and “just” right.  Seeds are the same way – there’s a “just right” temperature for germination. The seeds of each species has a different optimal temperature for germination with a range of minimum and maximum temperatures for the process.”  Learn more from an expert. (John Porter,

How the humble marigold outsmarts a devastating tomato pest.  “Researchers carried out a study to prove what gardeners around the world have known for generations — marigolds repel tomato whiteflies.” (Newcastle University, via

Infographic: Plants Deploy Exosomes to Stop Alien Invaders.  “A growing branch of research on how plants use exosomes to interact with their environment is opening up a new field of plant biology.” (Amanda Keener,

Desert bacteria give plants an edge over high salinity soils. (Sterlingadmin,

Retreating ice exposes Arctic landscape unseen for 120,000 years. (Stephanie Pappas,

Greener childhood associated with happier adulthood. (Johnathan Lambert,

Photo: NPIC – Oregon State University

Garden use of treated lumber.This fact sheet explains the most widely used method for treating wood, examines the possible risks from gardening uses of treated lumber, and makes recommendations for reducing any such risks.” (Richard Stehouwer, Penn State U)

A tasty Florida butterfly turns sour. “A 15-year study by entomologists found that, when living apart from the unsavory bug it mimics, the viceroy butterfly becomes yucky, making biologists rethink old theories about animal mimicry.” (University of Arizona, via

Inside the Spittlebug’s bubble homeThose foamy eruptions on garden plants protect a slow and steady sap drinker that is growing into a froghopper. But it has to stick its hind end out to breathe.” (James Gorman,

Weird new Tarantula species discovered with bizarre “horn” on its back. “Details of a new tarantula previously unknown to science have been revealed by researchers working in Angola. The spider has a very peculiar feature, unlike any other related species we have encountered so far.” (Alfredo Carpineti,

Bizarre Video Shows A Frozen Tree Melting From The Inside- “a coat of ice has slightly peeled away from the trunk and branches, allowing a steady stream of water to trickle down the bark under the icy top layer as it melts.”  Cool! (Tom Hale,

Fruit flies don’t need sleep like other animals to survive, study suggests. (Kristy Hamilton,

Honeybees’ waggle dance no longer useful in some cultivated landscapes. (R. I’Anson Price, et al; via Johannes Gutenburg Universitat, Mainz)

Understanding mysteries of plant diseases: Diagnosis and Detection (Part 2 of 3 in this blog series) (Jim Downer,

Rediscovering Wallace’s Giant Bee: In Search Of Raja Ofu, The King Of Bees (Clay Bolt, Lost Species News via

Snowdrop basics.  “The sight of snowdrop shoots poking up through snow-covered ground is one of the first signs that spring is near. It was once thought that their leaves were thermogenic, producing their own heat in order to melt through the snow. However, it is more likely a thermal effect of sunlight heating the tips of the leaves warmer than the surrounding snow.” (Linda Hagen,

Photo: Oregon State University

Planting a garden soon?  Find out which vegetables were hits or misses from OSU’s 2017 research. (Brooke Edmunds, et al; OSU)

Tyrannosaurus rex ate meat but also accidentally planted fruit.  “T-Rex is famous for being a deadly carnivore, was likely assisting in the widespread dispersal of fruit seeds. A recent report in New Scientist suggests that T Rex was inadvertently planting fruits across the landscape in its droppings after devouring plant-eating animals.” (Chrissy Sexton,

This beetle bites an ant’s waist and pretends to be it butt.  “It takes an unusual strategy to survive nature’s most destructive swarms.” (Ed Yong,

Insect identification: Experts and guides to ID that bug you found. (

Pollen sleuths: Tracking pesticides in honey bee pollen to their source plant. (Kimberly Stoner, Richard Cowles, and Brian Eitzer,

Genetically modified super-charged Cassava could help stamp out malnourishment in Africa, (Tom Hale,

100-million-year-old amber fossil suggests Mosquitoes carried Malaria when dinosaurs walked the Earth. (Rachel Baxter,

Downy Mildew resistant Impatiens may be available soon! Syngenta to launch IDM-Resistant Impatiens at Spring Trials. (Chris Beytes,



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