Nostoc commune: From "The Blob" to Crusty Black Stuff

Recent heavy rainfall across Ohio has been very beneficial to the cyanobacterium, Nostoc commune (NC). Of course, that's not the name that most Ohioans will use to refer to this ancient organism. E-mails and phone calls to horticulture professionals may describe it as rubbery yellowish-green or bluish-black growth rising from the soil; some may just describe it as "the blob."
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Joe Boggs

Beautiful Oak Flowers

Flowers! That is one of many things horticulturalists think of when we think spring. We think of the beautiful flowers of things like Malus, Forsythia, Viburnum, and Quercus. I know, you might be asking, “Quercus, really?” Indeed oaks. Oaks have spectacular flowers! These often-overlooked flowers and quite intricate and showy in their own right...

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Paul Snyder

Ant Wars

"Ant swarms" are most commonly associated with ants mating and the subsequent establishment of new colonies. However, non-native pavement ants (Tetramorium caespitum) may also swarm for a more nefarious purpose: to conduct full-blown, no-holds-barred ant wars.
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Joe Boggs

Holey Elms

Holes can appear in the leaves of native, non-native, and hybrid elms at this time of the year owing to damage caused by the non-native elm flea weevil. This weevil was incorrectly identified as the European elm flea weevil for many years. However, the true identity was sorted out a few years ago.
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Joe Boggs

Holey Oaks

What's making holes in newly expanding oak leaves in Ohio? The common name of the oak shothole leafminer (Japanagromyza viridula, syn. Agromyza viridula) clearly describes both the culprit and the damage they do to oaks. This small fly belongs to the family Agromyzidae; the leaf miner flies.
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Joe Boggs

The Right Redbud For You

Eastern Redbud, Cercis canadensis, put on a show this spring! It did not matter where, the redbuds were simply outstanding. Most of the flowers on Cercis canadensis even survived the cold of May 8-11 with little or no injury. Perhaps it was the shelter-in-place order that made spring flowers seem especially brilliant this year, or maybe they really were better than usual. Whatever the case, I am not going to complain!

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Paul Snyder
Boxwood Leafminer Adults boggs.47@osu.edu Mon, 05/18/2020 - 17:38
Swarms of boxwood leafminer adult flies are flitting around their namesake host. The delicate-looking flies belong to the same family (Cecidomyiidae) as gall midges.
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Joe Boggs