June 8, 2005
I'm sure many of you use hand sanitizers after handling insects, but did you know that gel hand sanitizers could be used to preserve insects? Gerald S. Wagner reported in a recent issue of the American Entomologist (Winter 2004) that antibacterial gel hand sanitizers preserve insects just as well as alcohol. He tested three brands of instant hand sanitizer, Dial, Purell, and Meijer, and all three preserved insects wonderfully.
Ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea) is a common weed in many lawns. Ground ivy is a low-growing, creeping, invasive perennial. It spreads by seed and the vining stems (stolons) which root at their nodes. The leaves of ground ivy are round or kidney-shaped with scalloped margins. Stems are four-sided. Flowers are small, bluish-purple, and funnel-shaped. Ground ivy thrives in damp, shady areas, but also grows well in sunny locations. A member of the mint family, ground ivy produces a minty odor when cut or crushed. Ground ivy is also known as "creeping charlie."
Hollyhocks are grown for the their showy, colorful flowers. A common disease problem on hollyhocks, called rust, can also lead to 'colorful' foliage. Puccinia malvacearum, the rust fungus that infects hollyhock, causes yellow spots on the upper leaf surface, and orange-brown raised pustules on the lower leaf surface. Orange pustules also form on the stems of the plants.