|Wednesday What’s New: Killer Petunias?|
|Written by Heleigh Bostwick Wednesday, 30 May 2012|
I realize that petunias are not really in keeping with the holiday traditions, but this headline article in Science Daily about “Killer Petunias” was too interesting to pass up. Scientists now believe that carnivorous behavior in plants is much more common than previously thought. Take for instance, the mild mannered petunia, an annual that is often used to provide splashes of color in the garden, along walkways, around the mailbox, and in pots. Here's what the article had to say:
“Defining what constitutes carnivory in plants is a challenge, and authors include or exclude groups of plants on the basis of different sets of criteria. Professor Mark Chase and co-authors from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and the Natural History Museum contend that carnivory and non-carnivory should not be treated as a black and white situation, and they view plants as being on a sliding scale between those that show no carnivorous characteristics and those that are real "meat eaters" such as the Venus flytrap.
Plants like petunias and potatoes have sticky hairs that trap insects, and some species of campion have the common name catchfly for the same reason. However, some of the commonly accepted carnivores have not been demonstrated to have the ability to digest the insects they trap or to absorb the breakdown products. In their paper, Chase et al. review each of the groups of potential carnivores.”
Excerpts from an article from Science Daily to keep reading click here