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Flowers, Fruits, and Frass

Local and statewide information on a variety of current topics for home gardeners and market growers.
scoliid wasp adult on goldenrod

Scoliid wasp by Phil Nixon

Posted by Kelly Allsup - Bugs

Scoliid wasps, family Scoliidae, feed as parasitoids on the larvae of green June beetles. Where there were high numbers of these beetles, this is followed by large numbers of scoliid wasps. These are one inch long black wasps with the posterior portion of the abdomen being orange with a couple of yellow spots. These wasps cruise over turf areas in figure 8 patterns searching for locations to la...

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Propagating Houseplants

  "Propagation may be a foreign word if you are not a horticulturist or gardener, but it can be easy by following a few simple steps." states University of Illinois Horticulture Educator, Kelly Allsup. Trained horticulturists grow new plants called clones by taking simple leaf cuttings or tip cuttings. Many gardeners use propagation techniques this time of year...

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Butterflies Enjoy Nature's Camoflauge

Posted by Kelly Allsup - Bugs

Illinois butterfly identification programs have been popular among prairie walkers and flower gardeners. It is these delightful visitors of flowers or tree sap or —in some cases, dung and mud puddles —that capture our interests and cause us to ask, "What kind of butterfly is that?" and "Where did it come from? In my ventures to understand and identify butterflies, I have come to one ver...

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Homestead seeds
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Saving Pumpkin Seeds?

In radio interview with WJBC's Susan Sanders, I was asked "How do you save seed from pumpkins?" "You know the ones that you have gutted for the purpose of making jack-o-lanterns!" Then I thought about all the pumpkins that take their place on the tops of hay bales and placed in pots of flowering annuals and what does become of the valuable seeds inside. My knowledge of pumpkins was limi...

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Hedge Apple Pest Control by Iowa State University

Posted by Kelly Allsup - Bugs

"Hedge apple" trees (also called Osage orange, Maclura pomifera ) are not related to apples or oranges and their fruit is inedible. The large, grapefruit-sized, brain-like green fruit are better-known that the trees and show up in the fall of the year in stores and farmers markets where they are sold for their purported ability to repel insects. The hedge apple tree has a lon...

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eab emergence holes
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Emerald Ash Borer attacking White Fringe Tree -OH NO! Phil Nixon

Emerald ash borer has been found in white fringetree, Chionanthus virginicus , in the Dayton and Springfield areas of western Ohio. Part of a dead adult found in one of the trees has been positively identified by USDA personnel along with larvae from the same tree whose anatomical characters are consistent with emerald ash borer. Live larvae were found in single trees in each of four si...

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