Effect of Systemic Use for Commercial Nursery Propagation of Asclepias currasavica on Monarch Larvae

People who buy milkweed plants (most commonly Tropical milkweed [Asclepias curassavica]) from big box stores such as Lowes and Home Depot to feed monarch larvae frequently report that their larvae often die after feeding on the purchased plants. This is likely due to the plants being treated with topical or systemic insecticides. However, detailed information concerning the exact chemicals used and their potential impact on monarch larval mortality is poorly understood. This study sought to provide information on insecticides and larval mortality.

Savannah milkweed's greenish-yellow, urn-shaped flowers

Flower Friday: Savannah milkweed

With its diminutive stature and greenish-yellow flowers, Savannah milkweed (Asclepias pedicellata) is oft overlooked in its native pineland and prairie habitats. It blooms late spring through fall, peaking in summer. Its flowers are attractive to bees, wasps and butterflies. Like all members of the Asclepias genus, Savannah milkweed is a larval host plant for Monarch, Queen and Soldier butterflies. The plant contains a milky latex that is toxic to most animals, but Monarch, Queen and Soldier caterpillars are adapted to feed on them despite the chemical defense.

Weber_member profile

Member profile: Jeff Weber

Get to know Florida Wildflower Foundation member Jeff Weber. Jeff is dedicated to protecting and restoring Florida’s natural ecology in his career and in his free time. As an environmental specialist with Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources, Jeff manages natural areas of the county. As a member of Florida Wildflower Foundation, he regularly attends field trips and events to connect with others who share a passion for wild Florida. As a homeowner, Jeff does his part to plant as much native vegetation as he can!

Monarch on Butterflymilkweed flowers

FDOT Wildflower Program: Pollinators

This page is hosted by the Florida Wildflower Foundation as a courtesy to the Florida Department of Transportation. Photo by Peg Urban HOMEHISTORYPROCEDUREPHOTOSCONTACTS Pathways for Pollinators The decline of honey bees and Monarch butterflies over recent years has brought the issue of pollinators to the forefront of roadside management. Pollinators’ importance to Florida agriculture and…

wildflower meadow at Orange County IFAS Extenstion

Foundation awards 5 Viva Florida grants

The Florida Wildflower Foundation is pleased to announce the recipients of this year’s Viva Florida Landscape Demonstration Garden grants. Five grants were awarded for the following projects: Cutting Horse Eco-Center, Bonita Springs (Lee County); Folly Farm Nature Preserve, Safety Harbor (Pinellas County); Orange County UF/IFAS Extension, Orlando; Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens (St. Lucie County); and Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (Lee County).

Queen butterfly on Swamp milkweed, Asclepias perennis

Know your native pollinators: Queen butterfly

In the same genus as Monarchs, Queen butterflies share many characteristics with their royal cousins. Queens and Monarchs are similar in appearance, rely on milkweed as a host plant and carry a toxin from milkweed in their bodies into adulthood. Queens do not participate in the same migration as Monarchs, however, and have distinguishing physical differences.

 

 

Green antelopehorn, Asclepias viridis

Flower Friday: Green antelopehorn

Green antelopehorn (Asclepias viridis) is an herbaceous perennial wildflower found in pinelands, pine rocklands and disturbed areas in a few Florida counties. It flowers winter through summer, with peak blooms in spring. Like many members of the milkweed family, Green antelopehorn is a larval host plant for Monarch, Queen and Soldier butterflies. Their caterpillars have adapted to feed on the plant, which contains a milky latex that is toxic to most animals. The flowers are also an important nectar source for bees and wasps.

Peter and Kim Connolly

Member profile: Peter and Kim Connolly

Kim and Peter Connolly have been active members of the Florida Wildflower Foundation and have attended various Foundation field trips and events for the past three years.They are both Florida Master Naturalists, with Peter serving his third year on the board of the Space Coast Chapter. Their free time is spent documenting local flora and fauna for iNaturalist. To date, they have added 907 observations of unique species to the site.

Clasping warea, Warea amplexifolia

Field trip: Warea Tract Service Day

Join us on our Jan. 25 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 and Todd Angel. 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).

Silver-spotted skipper

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.