December 11, 1998

Carnivorous Plants

There is an intimate relationship between insects and plants. Neither could exist without the other. Bees, wasps, and butterflies benefit plants by pollinating their flowers. Other insect species feed on plants by sucking sap from plant tissue or by devouring plant parts. However, in a fascinating twist of nature, there are a small number of plants that "eat" insects. The diet of these plants also includes mites, sowbugs, and occasionally small animals, such as frogs. Accordingly, these flesh-eating plants are true carnivores.

Food Quality Protection Act Update

The implementation of the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) that became law in August 1996 will occur during a 10-year period. By August 2006, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must reassess more than 9,700 existing pesticide tolerances (maximum residue limits for foods). Priority is being given to pesticides that appear to pose the greatest risks to human health.

Quince Rust

A hawthorn sample showing quince rust was recently submitted to the Plant Disease Clinic . The quince rust fungus, Gymnosporangium clavipes, may cause rough, swollen areas on twigs and branches. These canker-like swellings are especially noticeable after the leaves have fallen.