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I did a call-in radio show every Saturday morning for 28 years on KARN talk radio and gave it up about 8 years ago. I thought I would miss it, but it was kind of nice having my Saturday's back. Recently, Kerry McCoy asked me to be on her radio show Up in Your Business on 101.1, and I agreed to June 12.

I had not been to these studios before, so I got there a little early on Wednesday night. I walked in and my old producer Russ was there, and in the studio was Dave Elswick.

They were both one time employees of KARN, so I knew them. I hadn't seen either of them in a long time, so it was like old-home week. As Dave's show ended,

Kerry and I began our conversation, and the hour flew by. It was really fun.

This is not usually a call-in question and answer type program, but more a conversation with Kerry and her guest, but they did open it up and I got a question--and I didn't know the answer! See it does happen. The caller was from South Carolina and wanted to know about a Lignum vitae tree. I had to admit I had never heard of it. Kerry and her son were trying to help me out by googling it on their phones, but even when I saw it, I didn't know it. According to the US Botanical Gardens website, this tree is endangered and is also called the Tree of Life. Native to the Caribbean, the Latin name is now Guaiacum officinale.

It is on the endangered list because much of its native habitat has been devastated by deforestation. In looking at the pictures, it is a beautiful evergreen tree with purple flowers. It is hardy to south Florida, so would not make it in Arkansas, nor South Carolina. So now you know!

You are never too old to learn something new.

I recently had a question concerning some extra bumps on the stems of a cherry tree.

They said they were on almost every leaf right where the leaf was attached to the petiole or small stem,

but the tree was still healthy. They were worried they had some type of disease or insect. I got a picture of these “bumps” and lucky for them, they have a naturally occurring gland called “nectar glands” or extrafloral nectaries. Typically when you think of a plant producing nectar, it is in the flowers. Some plants have adapted to being able to produce nectar separately from the bloom in specialized glands. Cherry trees produce these extra glands as prevention. If they get attacked by some insect pests, these glands go into action, sending out an extra sweet fluid that will hopefully attract beneficial insects that can eat the marauding invaders.

Not all plants have these extra glands. Some others that do include passionflower, partridge pea, trumpet vine, elderberry, peaches beautyberry, sunflowers, castor bean, and willow. Peonies have them as well on the sepals and can explain why ants are so prevalent in the blooms. We say that plants don’t think or have brains, but when you hear about some of the amazing things plants do, it makes you wonder!

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