Bees and butterflies, including Monarchs, have 3 acres of new native habitat, thanks to Lake County Parks and Trails and the Florida Wildflower Foundation, which have partnered to develop pollinator habitat along the multiuse Neighborhood Lakes Scenic Trail north of Orlando.
Goldenrod soldier beetles (Chauliognathus pensylvanicus) are pollinators and predators of pesky garden pests. They are found throughout Florida and most of the United States. Their populations peak in late summer and early fall, perfectly timed with the bloom of goldenrod. These common beetles prefer sunny spots with rich nectar sources, such as gardens, fields and roadsides.
Phenology, nature’s calendar for matching plant maturity and animal needs, is ideal when plants are blooming and providing vegetative habitat and food for insects, birds and other animals in the right place and at the right time. Here’s what you can do when nature’s timing is off.
Psychology is important when talking to your neighbors about using wildflowers in their landscapes. Learn persuasion tips from Russ Hoffman, who will speak at the 2018 Florida Wildflower Symposium on April 28 in Orlando.
Wildflower horticulturalist Jeff Norcini, of OceoHort LLC, is hitting the road for the Florida Wildflower Foundation to locate roadside wildflower populations in Florida’s Big Bend and north Central Florida regions. The goal of the surveys is to build a network of native wildflower habitat along roadsides to host insect pollinators as they travel between farm fields and forests.
Many of Florida’s spring native wildflowers have large, showy flowers –– such as Iris and Purple thistle. But some common ones may be underappreciated because their flowers are small, near the ground, or just positioned on the stem where they may be hard to see. However, they are quite beautiful when viewed close up.
Florida is home to hundreds of native plants that make great additions to gardens. The Florida Wildflower Foundation’s new book, “Native Plants for Florida Gardens,” takes the mystery out of using them in urban landscapes! Striking color photography showcases 100 species of wildflowers, vines, grasses, shrubs and trees. At-a-glance keys make it easy to determine bloom color, blooming seasons, and light and moisture requirements. Easy-to-read text provides details for success, including native range, care and site conditions.
What did Hurricane Irma’s high winds mean to the spreading of plants? Will we see more plant movement as a result? The answers depend on a variety of factors.
Originally named for the Delaware tribes of Native Americans near where this butterfly was discovered, the Delaware skipper is now found throughout the eastern United States. This small, bright orange butterfly is attracted to grassy meadows and wet areas. As part of the Grass skipper subfamily of skippers, its larval hosts are grasses and sedges.
Florida milkvine (Matelea floridana) is a deciduous twining vine that occurs naturally in sandhills, woodlands and other open habitats. Its small flowers bloom in late spring and summer.
Do you enjoy juicy watermelons, local blueberries and strawberries and fresh Florida orange juice? How about carrots, broccoli, almonds and apples? If you do, please thank an insect. Learn more about our pollinators — especially native bees — and why they are so important.
Imagine yourself as a native Indian or early explorer 500 hundred years ago trying to survive in Florida. The better part of your day was probably spent hunting or gathering for daily sustenance, making tools and building shelters. Although artifacts are recovered by archeologists, the list of plants used for food, medicine and spiritual purposes was generally passed down by word of mouth through generations of early Floridians. There is quite a compendium of knowledge about early uses of native trees and shrubs, but what about wildflowers?