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Laboratory Report

Articles: Laboratory Report

Butterfly Feeding Preferences
The natural attraction of flowers to butterflies adds excitement to the garden for many gardeners, and has prompted the horticultural industry to market as many of such “butterfly” plants as possible. One of the most widely grown is lantana (Lantana camara) in its many cultivars. Researchers in Alabama noted that the lantana cultivars varied in their attractiveness to native butterflies, observing that ‘New Gold’ and ‘Radiation’ were visited to a greater extent than eight other commonly grown selections. This prompted a research project to determine why. Among the factors found to be important were: the number of inflorescences at different times (which affected the amount of visible light reflected), flower numbers per inflorescence, percentage of yellow flowers, amount of nectar, and the ratio of the amounts of sucrose to fructose and glucose. The researchers concluded that all of these characteristics should be considered in any breeding program to enhance the attractiveness of lantanas to butterflies. Journal of Environmental Horticulture 20: 9-18.
Branching of Potted Plants
Growers have been looking for methods to encourage the natural branchin...


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