The Florida Wildflower Foundation nurtures the awareness, understanding and enjoyment of Florida native wildflowers through conservation, preservation and education.

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Know your native pollinators: Silver-spotted skipper

You might find one of these creatures hanging upside-down, but it’s not a bat (or a vampire). It’s a Silver-spotted skipper! The Silver-spotted skipper is one of the largest, most widespread and recognizable skippers. It has a quick jerky flight that is typical of skippers. This type of butterfly is common and can be found from northern Mexico to southern Canada, as well as most of the continental United States.You can find Silver-spotted skippers throughout Florida. These butterflies enjoy a disturbed habitat, open woods, foothills, stream sides, prairie waterways, edges of forests, swamps, brushy areas and other open areas with nectar plants.

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Nov. 16 Field trip to Heartwood Preserve

Heartwood Preserve is the first conservation cemetery within a nature preserve in the Tampa Bay area. Join us on this unique opportunity to learn about the efforts to conserve and permanently protect this endangered natural habitat through environmentally friendly burial options. Visit longleaf pine flatwoods and cypress wetlands. Learn the land’s history and management, the importance of fire ecology and the process of conservation burial. 

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Sept. 7 Warea Tract Service Day

Join us on our Sept. 7 service project as we visit and help protect Seminole State Forest’s Warea Tract. We will be removing invasive Natal grass and learning about the importance of the tract from Forester Mike Martin. The Warea Tract holds many threatened and endangered species we may have the opportunity to see, including Florida bonamia (Bonamia grandiflora), Lewton’s polygala (Polygala lewtonii), Sweet-scented pigeonwings (Clitoria fragrans), Scrub plum (prunus geniculata) and Scrub buckwheat (Eriogonum longifolium var. gnaphalifolium).

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Know your native pollinators: Gulf fritillary

The Gulf fritillary is sometimes known as the Passion butterfly — so named because of its ardor for Passionflower. You will find so much to love about this unique pollinator! Gulf fritillaries are medium-sized butterflies with elongated forewings that live in the extreme southern United States. Outside of the U.S., they are a broad-ranging species, found throughout Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and into South America.Gulf fritillaries enjoy a variety of habitat including sunny roadsides, disturbed areas, edges, fields, pastures, woodlands, second-growth semitropical forests and urban areas like parks and yards. You may even find them blithely floating around your butterfly garden.  

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What’s in bloom

See how Florida’s fabulous wildflowers change seasonably across the state. You’ll find just what you need to be a wildflower tourist, whether you’re on the road or a virtual explorer.

Maryland goldenaster (Chrysopsis mariana) by Peg Urban

Flower Friday: Maryland goldenaster

Florida has 11 native Goldenaster species, eight of which are endemic; several are listed by the state as rare or endangered. Maryland goldenaster (Chrysopsis mariana) is found in pinelands, sandhills and sandy roadsides. Native butterflies, as well as a variety of native long-tongued bees – including green metallic, sweat, leafcutter, bumble and mining bees – are attracted to the plant’s nectar.  The flowers bloom in spring, summer and fall.

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Drive change – help pollinators thrive!

Pollinators are responsible for every third bite we eat and the reproduction of 85 percent of the world’s plants and trees. But they are in trouble. Development of Florida’s natural lands has robbed them of the wildflowers they need to survive.

But there is good news: You can help save pollinators by purchasing the State Wildflower license plate. Each time a State Wildflower plate is bought or renewed, the Florida Wildflower Foundation receives $15 to support native wildflower planting, education and research projects statewide. The plate is the only dependable source of revenue for Florida’s wildflowers and plants.

Do your part to support natural Florida’s future – get your tag today.

Helping millions of Monarchs by researching the effects of neonicotinoids on caterpillars.

Providing more than 3,000 wildflower plants annually for community park and school gardens.

Providing hands-on wildflower experiences to more than 1,500 students a year.