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Petunias and other deep blues may repel pests

by webdev

August 16, 2011

The deep blues and purples of blueberries, plums and petunias may be composed of pest-fighting chemical compounds, the United States Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service reports.

The compounds, anthocyanins, which are known to be healthful for humans, are thought to slow the growth rate of insects that feed on plants and flowers that contain them. In experiments conducted at the National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, corn earworm caterpillars that were forced to feed on the blue parts of petunia petals gained less weight than those that fed on the flower's white areas. In addition, when anthocyanins were isolated from the petunias and fed to caterpillars, they slowed the larva's growth.

The news source reports that studies of plant-produced insect fighters could eventually offer opportunities to create crops and flowers that can both benefit human health while fighting pests.

While the deep shades of blue of petunias are lovely in outdoor pots or gardens, flower enthusiasts can get the same gorgeous color scheme inside with Teleflora's Beautiful in Blue flower arrangement, which features white lilies and the deep purple and blue tones in the purple statice and lavender limonium.

This article is brought to you by Teleflora - a leader in the flower delivery service for over 75 years. Teleflora helps its customers buy flowers online and specializes in bringing the freshest available flowers for a variety of holidays and occasions - all hand-delivered in keepsake vases by the best local florists. 




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